Lately I’ve felt that the world
lies in a state of suspended animation,
hanging in the balance between
a nightmare and a dream.

Somewhere between the loss
of candlelit dinner conversations
outside my own home
and the relentless intrusion
of mundane-littered confusion,
my self slipped away,
into the gray,
and vanished into the trackless wastes
leaving only a bitter taste
in the back of my throat.

Lately I’ve wondered if when I wake up
I’ll find that everyone’s changed,
though I’m the same.
Are you a friend,
or someone I’ve never known?
Are you a stranger,
or someone I’ll know again?

And who are we,
in these shells?

Somewhere between the panic
and the falling ball
and the clock ticking toward midnight,
we lost our places. Our footsteps
tracked into the dark and
into the gray and
away, away. The monitor
flickered. The heartbeat
quickened. The lifeblood of the world
and clotted
and unclotted
and ran,
while our foot-beats rang on,
through thickets of thorns
and into the bay
(away, away).

Something inside of me longs for the day,
the resumption of candlelit conversations
that relieve confusion and scatter dismay,
when I can reach out and
touch a hand and
say, “You are my friend. I have known you
before and
I will know you

Notes on “Suspended Animation”

Have you felt like you’re living in suspended animation lately? If so, you’re not alone! I’ve had this poem brewing in me for a while. I may revisit it before long, since it still has rough edges in this form, but I’m trying to encapsulate the feeling of these strange COVID-ridden times. Let me know what you’re thinking or how you’ve been doing, or drop me a line about anything. I’d love to hear your voice!

And if you enjoyed this poem, you’d probably also like my poem “Is it any Wonder?” If you’re looking to check out some of my published work, you can find my collection of short stories and poems, Metamorphosis, on Amazon.

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