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poetry Nothing is Normal

New York poet Esther Cohen addresses the suddenness of change and notices what hasn’t changed at all.

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Nothing is Normal

By Esther Cohen

Nothing is normal.

Nothing is normal now.

Marion said Carlos said the world is biblical.

We’re inside ourselves in a way we weren’t before.

Opposite of social distancer I’ve

met friends and strangers and anyone else

all day all my life and yet not now if

I am able to put aside this world for a while

presidents and consequences maybe this

will change them both change

people without food and in prisons

and shelters all of us are here together 

if I am able to breathe slow deep breaths

every morning first time

in so many years I write

a sentence or two even three or four

one of them occasionally ok

I’m almost happy to be here

in this small apartment

after so many years 

rent stabilized orange

books to read for a few lifetimes food

enough for you and me

two bottles of vodka for Quarantinis

one block from the park where even though

nothing is normal and we know we are together

in a way we haven’t been in years

there are yellow forsythias now.

Esther Cohen writes, teaches, and is a cultural activist.  

She posts a poem most days at