Love in the Time of Corona

Mehvash Amin


It doesn’t want to let go. It mutates, passes, clings… It may have been born of bats and snakes, but it is passionate about the warm body that it has newly found.


Expelled from that body, it will live for a short few hours on metal, wood, iron, but these interfaces do not interest it. Unless they are the banknotes that change hands, the cell phone that connects hand to face.


It loves the love of the hand for the face, the flick at the hairline, the massage of unguent on skin, the absentminded tug at the ear, the wiping away of a tear.


It thrives on love: the warm embrace, the wet kiss, the brotherly shake of the hand. It loves love.


Without that love, it will die.


Of course it kills. It kills as all life kills, for survival. But it loves the geometry of love. The lines that connect it to another life, then another, then another… the crazed trapezoid in which parallel lines are forced to converge.


It loves everyone. It loves the president. It loves the fool. It loves the knave.


It loves everyone but the hermit, content to sit in his cave and ride it out, happy with his books and thoughts.





It loves to travel, too. It loves the muted hum of the airplane, the recycled air that pulses with fatigue as the plane wings from continent to continent. It loves trains that lurch towards the hubs of connectivity that are cities.


It loves the man who catches a cough in his palm, then grasps the bar that others will hold on to as the tube hurtles down black tunnels.


It doesn’t care for the rich man’s limousine, with that slap of glass between the passenger and chauffeur.


If it were not so driven by love, it would laugh. At the markets that are tumbling, the fortunes being lost.


But it would cry at the bars that are emptying, the schools and stadiums being closed. It would cry at the chasm of three feet that these bodies are enforcing between themselves.


It would cry that the bridges between people are being torn down.


That people are learning to un-love, just to kill it.

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