by Karine Leno Ancellin
at the turn of the hesitating sentence “he was dead,”
her screeching sobs crackled, a digital torrent of dread
I had never had Whatsapp resonate with such sorrowful tone
her groans of despair defied the frequencies of my smart phone.
The loud speaker amplified the strange sordid suffering,
the rich greasy pain of fear scattered heavily below my ceiling
exceedingly afraid, she stuttered “death is lurking around my family”
“who will go first?” she then howled, “It can’t be the children so could it be me?”
“I Know it’s him who will be first hit, because he works and keeps on working
no matter what, front line yeomen, for them there is no stopping……………….”
On the virtual side of friendship, I listen, ‘active listening’, I have no say
as of late, negativity is fed in cascades, repeatedly every minute of every day,
numbers don’t add to the angst anchored in this Fibonacci increase, spiraling ion
exponential atomization, each atom on the verge of explosion
and I, the family friend afar, I am hearing that shrieking scenario on my phone
and I, am expected not to react to the tragedy, just be there, stand on my own
the oppressing silence resumes as she cuts the line “Thank you, I needed that”
emptiness is shriller now, I am shaken, I visualize what’s left of our quarantine chat
her nerves in a flout,
she freaked out,
though she only ……just dreamt it.
Karine Leno Ancellin was born and grew up in New York until she moved to different countries. She researched ‘Hybrid identities’ for her Phd at the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels having earned an MA, with Honors, in Comparative Literature at the ‘Charles V’ Institute of Paris VII. She worked as a journalist in West Africa for many years and currently is a professor, writer and translator living in Athens, Greece. Along her poetry writing, Karine Ancellin has turned to literary journalism and publishes free-lance. She is also involved in the promotion of pan-Hellenic Literature and co-founded a poetry society in Athens, Greece with Angela Lyras (www.apoetsagora.com). Some of her poems have been put to jazz music by the composer Leila Olivesi.