rough red patches

Photo taken through store window with bars crisscrossing over it of a large red pocket knife on a stand with several blades and pieces coming out of it. The store contains many other miscellaneous items and boxes on tables and shelves. There is also an apartment building reflecting off of the glass window in blue light.

rough red patches on our hands
irritated dry skin
signs of pandemic wear on the body
doesn’t matter how much you moisturize
clean your hands clean your hands
clean your hands
wash them until they crack and bleed
stay healthy stay safe
while we run out of tests run out of vaccines
run out of doctors run out of time
while you run and slip on the sidewalk
fifteen feet from home
fifteen minutes after curfew
slip on the ice
land underground
close your curtains tight
not allowed to go outside
not allowed to be outside
not allowed to look outside
stay safe safe safe

Published by Sage Pantony

Sage Pantony is a writer, poet, and zinester. They write about gender, sexuality, mental health, trauma, creativity, and the best ways to cook eggs. They are the author of several zines, including a trilogy about transitioning as a non-binary person. Sage’s work has appeared in publications such as Coven Poetry, Idle Ink, and The Varsity. They currently reside in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal with their pet dinosaur, Peter.

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