A new poem by Anthony Anaxagorou.

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What a weird time to be alive 
my old neighbour kept saying  
news hounding like an air raid 
siren I press my face up against  
the warmest chunk of wall asking 
if he needs any new supplies I’m 
here too I whisper turning the news 
down turning my phone on shaking 
the fridge saying hang in there little 
buddy we’re all a bit emptier now 
watching the rice creep inside black 
sanitise my last plant keeping each 
window shut mum forget the garden 
today let April look after us – news 
bulletins say it’s on the up 45 says 
he’s on the up tonight we’ll sleep 
inside our rubber mirrors waving 
at each other through cracked 
screens and paper masks like kids 
who jumped the gates loneliness 
needs us now more than ever 
the lady upstairs I know she’s 
there her babies too nobody here 
has seen the ground in weeks in 
months we’ll still be running 

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet. His second collection, After the Formalities (Penned in the Margins), was shortlisted for the 2019 TS Eliot Prize.

This article appears in the 22 April 2020 issue of the New Statesman, The coronavirus timebomb

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