The Laboratory

There’s a crystal ball, rockpool, water cup, advice from Mt Olympus, a velvet medieval hat, a cape, old maps, flying cards, black cat, the promise of a cure extends for a million miles. Is there time before the parking runs out? The numbers are tremendous! Colours are dirty greys. Douse the bugs in lemon juice and Clorox, then ring the cathedral bells. Draw a door to walk through to the vaccine lab. On a table a petri dish slips and slides, testing safety, efficacy, side effects, add liquids plates troughs, plasticware to the robots and away we go, a saucer to cross contaminate the spills. The politics of seeking a cure are harder to manage, Kayleigh speaks meta, meta twitter feeds, briefings, rallies, rebuilding economies, ‘Awesome’ she says walking past the room pushing a stroller, more in touch with hype than science, centrifuges the whole experience into focus with social distancing. You can argue about god, you can argue about politics, pipette tips, dogs, clowns in masks, oysters, anything but Fauci. Floors swept, walls scoured, probed and primed, the place slick, windswept as the graves in parklands. New principles emerge white out of black, nothing can bleach the world back to naïve. What about plagues not even thought about? Never met a virologist who believes we won’t encounter another one. Hide in the hallways of each house marked with a red cross, good and invisible, watch a living corona on a see-saw in the gloom and them getting busy with their unique genetic codes.

– Linda Godfrey

Linda Godfrey is a poet, writer, editor. She is using this corona time to write, hang out in the sun and keep in contact with friends and family. She misses yoga classes and her writing group.

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