Sudhanshu Chopra

Weeks of repetition It is not just during days of pandemic that I wish to be a bird. The longing flutters in my stomach after each meal. There are seasons every hundred yearsor so, when you can’t tell someone coughing into their fist from another bowed in prayer—a view from top might help. I write to people I never thought I’d ever again, and wait like pigeons do on the roof for a palm to sprinkle seed. One reply reads, Believe in the Universe. How can I, in something I don’t understand?Believe in yourself then, and I wonder why the same advice again.Maybe these are weeks of repetition: of drinking several cups of ginger tea, of gargling warm saltwater a lot, where nurses pause for brief yoga during drive-thru testing, and even Downey Jr. wants to returnas Ironman. A theory says bats are not to be blamed, but a vial from a lab, dropped in the wild-animal market, from where the virus spread its wings, causing quarantine corn-cakes to be baked, quotes like I promise you, I was here, published. Not sure of the hands it has been through, I have cut off my newspapersupply. Hum to me then in a foreign language whose bones are hollow & pinions beat, whose alphabet does not breathe.