Grandma Knows a Spy from Wuhan

Blacklight In Wuhan (Draft 1)

In the clearings
hauntings inhere
dear unfinished things

They’ve finished cleaning
the blood off the floor of the salon

Grandma’s voice
screams in the night;
her pen pal is lost, yes

Grandma is dead.
her hair dresser too–
by video two funerals
and the autopsy is done
no toxins of the ordinary kind.

Everyone misses Grandma.
Many knew her faux pas cinema
— been odd times.

Grandma had a Chinese pen pal
a foreign medical student
passing the USMLE
passing the TOEFL and everything.
Her friend’s now a doctor
now a scientist.

Many times
Grandma was down in a funk:
Something about the Great Depression,
the War and the slaughter again.

So many screams in the night:
“Where is my Wuhan doctor girl?”

There is so much beauty yet
in the quixotic world: the
flowers and designs
on the body bags.

Grandma told us
days never come lightly
when the night overwhelms
before the elegant cry

Such beauty in a sad world
my Grandma always said, is
just decoration, and
she favored flower designs
on chic shopping bags

Let the designers rise to the task
to make pretty body bags
to rise to praise, and yea
by the dawn’s surly knights
oh hey can you see our deeds
in the corona of the Sun
particles of sunset and doom.

Everyone misses Grandma.
Many knew of her, some
knew her. It’s been odd times.

Grandma told wild stories.
Very entertaining. She was
not distant ever
regardless of rules

Grandma stabbed herself to death
with a scissor in a beauty salon, and
the owner was shot to death while
grabbing a policeman’s gun.
It’s the usual.

Grandma left me
a stack of papers
from the pal, now a doctor.
Grandma loved
her dear mystery friend
from Wuhan. She claimed
her friend worked in a laboratory.

I have the correspondence
written in Chinese, and
the blacklight she had
asked me to buy for her.

The letters came slowly
sometimes through Hong Kong
and Singapore, but sometimes
through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan

Grandma was fond
of her Wuhan girl
as she called her.

Just before her death
she reminded me that
it wasn’t important
to read the beautiful
Chinese calligraphy
because it was unimportant

It was important to read
the invisible secret writing
written between the lines.

Read in the dark
she had said.

New letters continued
to come from the
missing Wuhan girl.

I read them in the dark
with the Black Light.

Apparently, Wuhan girl is
patient zero for the world, and
they are hunting for her

They finished cleaning
the blood off the floor of the salon

2 thoughts on “Grandma Knows a Spy from Wuhan

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