Self-Isolation & Shakespeare / Amit Parmessur

A nameless day, I see myself leaning
on a Malboro backstage, my green tongue
in love with borrowed smoke. I talk of
dreams; I am the musical Mercutio.
Stickmen on fire queue up for my concerts.

A blank night, I find myself in seiza
at a shrine, gargling with sweet, warm water.
An Asian Orsino, I chew music;
I am the scarecrow stuffed with red hay,
whose harmonium goes wild and mild.

A dateless noon I see myself digging
into an oyster; I am Bassanio,
the gambler. I rejoice in the absence
of the sun, trying to lure a mermaid into
the spirited marrow of my drained skeleton.

I have no regret as my beard falls on
the cracked window sill. On the old table,
fresh newspaper. Covid count. Coldest rain.
To be Romeo, or not to be Romeo?
Back to my boulder, I am the snowman
cheating invisible death, in his blindness.

Amit Parmessur, 38, a private tutor, is a two-time Pushcart Prize and two-time Best of the Web nominee. His poems have appeared in over 165 magazines, namely WINK, The Rye Whiskey Review, Night Garden Journal, Hobo Camp Review, Ann Arbor Review and Ethos Literary Journal.  He lives in Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius, where he spent his adolescence hating poetry.

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