Covid Notes of the Year (3)

By: José Antonio Michelena and Yarelis Rico Hernández

Ilustración: Ángel Alonso

We enter the eighth month of the year dealing with Covid-19. We would have wanted to live all this time in a capsule, in a hyperbaric chamber, in hibernation, and go outside only when it all happened. But so many things have happened in the global village in these seven months… And what is life without the experience of everyday life, of what happens and happens to us.

No matter how isolated we were, we couldn’t be without hearing the beating of the world, the multiple stories, from the origin and spread of the new coronavirus and the follow-up to the health crisis, to the social effects of an African-American suffocation by a cop in Minneapolis. Isn’t that quite one story?

On the island we have not been oblivious to the events outside, but also inside things have happened. And for everything there are criteria and positions that cause dissequents and shocks when intolerance emerges, the voices that scream louder because they want to be the only ones heard, the ones who believe themselves to be bearers of the truth.

Word New wanted to share the expressions of a group of diverse voices to offer to its readers as a sample of the personal and collective experiences that have been lived in this peculiar and amazing leap year, this twenty-twenty turned quarent(en)a.

We have asked these people to tell us about their experiences in these seven months, how their days have elapsed, how they have faced the challenges, and what reading they make of what happened, what their ideas are about it.

Among these voices, some have wanted to express themselves with a poetic text, which is also valid.

The Plague

By Alexis Soto Ramirez

finally relented May

when the shadow reached almost the waist

in its beginning he grabbed the spoils of a winter

which turned out to be a fraud

without a miserable inch of snow

the fly abandoned its hiding place

that’s why we decided to go out and get flowers

as obeying what seemed to be an impostergable mandate

even in the midst of the much-sounding plague


the plague was and wouldn’t imagine

like our nightmares

however we plant flowers

for encouragement and shelter from bees

as if it didn’t matter more to the succumb

true is that the plague somewhat changed our customs

his imaginary part fulfilled many of our longings

his real part vehemently shook the chick

brought us humors of great nocivity

the plague disrupts the cardinality of the armchair

where immersed in this and other reflections we sleep

(in another time

cavilations like these caused the most beautiful strokes

distant and bright as a supernova)

cavilation was just a way back

about himself

a way to balance an interior space

that forbade us to sow those flowers

for insect soiege

at this point it’s time to talk about the bird

its semiotic material comes from the air

and his wonder is both pride and secret bragging about the trees

the bird is a complex engine that orders the chasms

the abyss and the bird

also the mute

demarcate the limits that for man

should have been static

but something didn’t work in due course

and the border that the bird traced

the abyss or the mute was acquitted

that’s what they sent the plague to

to form with a belt the madness of man

the mute crying of the mute

and the pride of the tree confabulan

the beach waves a flag of rare cavilations


Alexis Soto Ramírez
Alexis Soto Ramírez

Alexis Soto Ramírez (Havana, 1967). Poet. He works as a computer systems architect and resides in Ellicott City, Maryland, USA. His last published book is La moda albana (poetry, Lenguaraz Editions, 2019).


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