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Suite Prelude A/H1N1

we're in an epidemic:
we're creatures of swine flu la influenza porcina:
a new status that has us panicked:
completely out of proportion:
the virus is a new virus
no one knows how it acts:
it's very aggressive and highly contagious:
after six days cooped up we're on the verge of turning into experts in televised epidemiology:
specifically the a/h1n1 virus:
there are no schools no restaurants no bars no clubs
no libraries open:
33 million cloistered students with nothing much to do:
we set foot outside when strictly necessary
with facemasks and antibacterial gel:
we do not kiss or touch
we avoid each other at every turn
but we thrill at the thought that everyone could disappear in an instant
with a great sneeze that puts an end already to this whole damn thing:
every person is a high risk group:
they recommend staying away from crowds
but two can be a crowd

From "Suite Preludio A/H1N1." © José Eugenio Sánchez. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2009 by Anna Guercio. All rights reserved.