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Solitary birthday during lockdown--poetry by Courtenay Gray

Courtenay S. Gray shares her solitary birthday party during lockdown in England in her poem “Confectionary Corner” from the international collection of pandemic/isolation verse, prose, and images Global Insides—the beginning. Please share with your students and friends. Courtenay is a twenty-three-year-old writer from the North of England. She has self-published two poetry collections and is currently working on a third collection which will feature fiction and poetry. She also guest-edits for Thorn Literary Magazine.

Confectionary Corner

My breath is ghost snow—dripping with melted ice cream,

Coca-Cola lingering on my liver like the 70 proof Russian vodka I drank as a teen,

Lights of a sun-bed cloud my mind like an adolescent fog,

my intraocular fluid occupied with tea and coffee,

The solitary circular window ripples with a summer balm,

Lockdown birthday filled with last year’s candles and a makeshift cake,

icing yellowed and aged,

Above all, I send a message to you on a wishing star,

You refuse to hear me out,

brushing away the stardust from your pillows and sinking into a lifeless dream,

When this is over, will we be together?

You take the thorn from the rose bush and pilfer my heart with an egregious lack of awareness,

Peering at a strawberry trifle,

the yellow custard turns my stomach,

I see the fatty lining of the bodies being buried by hazmat suits.

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