Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 2



Kayla Rodney


Meditation in Covid-19 Quarantine #1

It is day fifty-leven of quarantine
and I have stared at the squareness
of a television set whose pictures don’t quite
set in.

Images—
just an array of lights,
illuminating the lived-in-ness of my liv-ing room.

Who
knew
one person could do
so
much
living?

I stopped counting days.

The smallness of a day
disrespects
the largeness of the time
in which we exist
now.

So, it’s week three.
Or four.
We can settle on three and a half
until weeks become as small as days
until months become the only true way to mark time.

Queen Corona walks,
        no
             slinks,
         heel-toe down empty streets.

The clack of her pumps hits windows as we all slip curtains to the side,
Stare at her,
Mean mug her,
Tell her: yes, we see you.
We are listening.
Don’t you see the lived-in-ness of our liv-ing rooms?

She knows she has shown us the empire is stark naked.

And we ain’t got no masks.
And we ain’t got no masks.




Celestial Bodies

We are celestial—

Planets
barely avoiding bumping into each other.
Barely avoiding calamity.
Step by sidewalk step in the galaxy of our daily lives.
Cellphones, flashing stars around us as we sashay out of
Oncoming orbits.

He is celestial—

Everything is made of him
And when I look at the black valley of skin before me
I see the world before let there be light
And think
How peaceful it must have been for God then,
And how heavy it must be
To be a walking beginning.

I am celestial—

Body, a wild supernova exploding under still skin
Voice, a meteor shower
       A spray of stars
       Diamond rain
Cut me open and my blood will Milky Way at your feet.

There is no moon here, only suns.
Only celestial bodies.



Kayla Rodney: "I am a New Orleans native and writer of poetry collection Swimming Home, a book about my experiences with hurricanes, travel, New Orleans culture, and mythology. I have previously published several poems with online journal Unlikely Stories. I received my MFA in poetry from San Diego State University and my PhD from the Department of English at University of Florida."




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