miasma theory

by

Teodora Nikolova

it is just and right that the people should rebel stand up for themselves take to the streets

this noxious air has choked the life out of our lungs and we will stuff the beaks of our plague masks

we will breathe in lavender oils, and bathe in bleach our skin will dry, and crack, and peel and we emerge purified

behind the walls of our home where we are safe six feet apart from the infection, young enough to carry it,

not old enough to die, but rather to become lethal masked by the red death, let us stay alive inside

our lives rendered little by this fear, pressed into these paper houses counting eggs, and sugar grains heads down

out in the streets, are the righteous few, who scream it is my right, to die of this plague and you can’t take it away

it is just and right that the people should rebel but a plague is not a government its oppression is universal

a beer garden is not a fundamental human right a foreign holiday is not a political cause we stuff the beaks of our masks

we pray the miasma passes soon, we obey. we wait.


Thea Nikolova is a writer and academic based in North East England, currently working in news and media, and due to start a PhD in English Literary Studies in October 2020. She has BA in English language and creative writing from Lancaster University, where she frequently performed her poetry, and an MA in English Literature from Durham University. Her work has appeared in Cake Literary Journal and the Stonecoast Review, while her academic writing has been recognized at multiple conferences. Her poetry explores themes of womanhood and identity in a global world.

Teodora Nikolova
Teodora Nikolova
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