Desire to Be Myself Again-My Third Day in Bed by Li Ruan

COVID,
a special gift
from my husband’s business trip
to California, that
I resisted for two plus years,
Finally kissed my lips, hugged my body
and pulled me into its corona ball.


Ache squirming in my throat
Pain crawling into my skull
Buzz of bees flying, flying in the ears
Stabbing, stabbing, stabbing my torso
Pinching my left arm and right arm, then two of them
Weakening my right ankle and left ankle, then both
Pricking my toes and wiggling into my legs
To every cell of my body.


Day is night, night is day
Coughing, coughing, more coughing
Water rejecting cascade down through esophagus
Food turning to opposite direction, like a cow’s cud
Loss of coordination between left hand and right hand
Act like enemies between right foot and left foot
Shrinking body fuels fever, burning higher and higher
24/7 washing face with tears forming a creek.


Desire to eat normally
Craving for sweet drinks
Longing to walk again
Sleep more and tight like a beauty queen
Dreaming of good old days
Desire to return to myself again,
Desire for normalcy, and hope no one else gets the gift.


Li Ruan is an immigrant woman and educational consultant based in Manhattan. She started writing in Chinese and English since she was inspired during the pandemic. She has published additional works.

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