walasse-ting-side-eye 1990
by Preeth Ganapathy

I sit, alone, in the midst of files,
Leafing through their contents,
Hands awash with a sanitizer
That has the scent of artificial lemon.

Until I hear a soft knock on the door
The grey and pink mask
That loops over my earlobes
And rests nonchalantly under my chin
Springs to life, alert and ready
As I hasten to pull it over my face
Offering protection against enemy droplets
That threaten to fly discreetly
And land on unsuspecting surfaces.

The mask leaves unguarded,
only my eyes —
Two tiny windows left open for the visitor to
Peep inside and
Gauge the depth of the river
Of my thoughts.
I look up at the door as it opens, to see
That my colleague is just another pair of eyes
Peeping over the rim of another mask.

We discuss the files
While our masks are busy
Fighting a guerrilla war
Against the deadly virus.

PAINTING: “Side eye” by Walasse Ting (1990).

Ganapathy1 copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Preeth Ganapathy is from Bangalore, India. Her work has been published in a number of online avenues, including The Short Humour Site, Red Wolf Journal, and Spark. She blogs at closetrhapsody.blogspot.com.