Around My Room and Back Again by Christine Wunnicke

Quarantine Song

Collection of small Rohdea japonica, (detail), Japan1832 by Untei Sekine

Here about the house I wander, happy place Bavaria,

Second building, second story, moderately bourgeois.

Wall and window, floor and ceiling, comfy cosy, scared recluse,

Noodle stash and soda clog the decontamination sluice.

Books and books, my swords my vinyl, pressboard cube and faux baroque,

Ocarina, origami, singing bowl and oh a sock.

Why a sock and why the hoover, kitsch from Venice on the Faust,

Why the slinky on the Kafka, why the cactus on the Proust?

Comfort zone with beige comforter, my Art Deco, oh so fine,

Here I wander, here I wallow, all the pretty things, all mine.

Lovely art by lovely people, Rachel’s lush anatomy,

Nadine’s head on legs so fragile, Martin’s gentle OCD.

I pace I pace I pace I amble in my germ-free hideaway,

Vroni’s clay work looks like penis, more so with each passing day.

Desk, rug, sofa, pillow, pillow, granny’s dental cabinet,

It survived the bombs on Dresden – Balcony and cigarette.

Tiny wicker chair with lambskin from a tiny plastic lamb,

In my mind I’m pacing elsewhere, Bogotá and Birmingham.

Paper, paper, books and paper, tax pile, junk pile, laundry pile,

And Lord Shiva young and lanky with his apathetic smile.

Hello ficus, may I hug you? Big stone, small stone, cowrie shell,

And the wretched plush gorilla, whispering “I wish you well.”

Do your dishes, do your sit-ups, study infectiology,

Optimize your life Christine! Cigarette and balcony.

Can you see me, can you hear me, I’m the zombie in your Zoom,

I’m the sunshine in your Timeline, I’m a person in a room.

People dying, dying, dying, virus, violence, poverty,

Close the tabs and open Netflix, it’s not here and it’s not me.

Hang the flashlight in the yucca, make a forest on the wall,

Make a forest on the ceiling, make a forest overall,

Gild a bone and stitch a sparrow, cut a face-mask from a bra,

Placid bliss, the days are melting, Typhus, Pest und Cholera.

Stick the flashlight in the geode, sparkle sparkle fairy-tale,

Worldometer ticking ticking, stitch the logarithmic scale.

Desk, rug, window, other window, door and chair and other door,

Oh my capsule, oh my castle—Hey, gorilla?—Nevermore!

Here I roam and here I ramble on square meters sixty-two,

Stay the fuck at home Christine, there is nothing you can do.

Christine Wunnicke for New Directions, with love,

April 2020