Cover, Fire (couvre-feu)

By Dominik Kai Brotherton

Before becoming a microbiologist, Dominik was a failed poet, and while he has been better rewarded for his skills in the former, he is still regularly compelled to write.

I wrote this poem the day after the UK lockdown was made official on the 23rd March. I had been alone at home self-isolating as a precaution shortly before the lockdown came into effect, and so the scene was already very much set. I was supposed to be writing up lab data for the next three weeks to pass the time while waiting for the government’s next move. As is often the case, I turned to poetry as a means of procrastinating, or as a coping mechanism, depending on your standpoint. It was an interesting moment to observe society. With Passover approaching and my background in microbiology, the themes came without much thought or effort, which is unusual for me. I had always thought viruses were rife for figurative exploration and so this ended up being one of the most expedient poems I ever wrote, as if it had been waiting dormant and just needed a trigger to become active.

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