Some encasement. A beginning stepping point within
a longer rite of passage. At home, working from home,
working from far away. In anthropological terms,
“liminal space.” Your spirit struggles to grapple with time
solidarity and specifics: six weeks have passed and
all you remember are nighttime work calls.
Morning-time languidness. Crows cawing
in the background of Zoom chats. Jess’s Obama dream.
Painkillers after dentist appointments—not yours, don’t ask.
Dad interrupting calls. Meetings, meetings, more meetings.
Spreadsheets filling boxes, storing away lines of information
in right angles: if I’m right, who’s left? How much is left
in our project? Is UDHR done? Instagram posts flash.
Adobe Illustrator tries to flash but freezes.
Bummer, you forgot to save.
Potted plants decorating the office space
you would’ve worked at. The blue beach in Malibu.
Zooming around time until these images blur.
This new DukeEngage experience is to hear the crashing waves
from your laptop, to find silver linings inside digital screens,
to create a cacophony of noise yet sit in silence,
to be in a time of isolation yet feel human connection.
Did you accomplish enough for six weeks? Are you proud
of how far you’ve come? Did you speak too much
and listen too little? The questions are coming.
What did you do when the world slowed down?
Where were you? How were you?