Reply to a COVID-related Reasonable Accommodation Decision Notification Letter

by Livia Meneghan

my  hospital  gown was  cyan \  the  therapy  poodle, Toby,  didn't  need  one because he was a dog \

only  for  humans  in  need  of  resources \  in need of  nine  hours  under  \   my  mother  helped  me

undress for  my  first shower  post-knife \  the  bathroom was cyan but sadder  \ sunlight slipped past

steam \  refracting against the tile  \  i turned to hide my breasts, lifted my shirt  inch  by  inch as her

hands  assisted  the cloth  \  she checked the temperature  of  the  water  \  warm  \  “are  you  alright,

sweetheart”  \  i should note, this poem is an anti-sonnet because it does not express love  \  i want to

make my reply clear  \  because i learned how to write here, at Emerson  \  did you know cyanide has

a bitter almond odor  \  imagine a rotting at  your fingertips  as you  beg for nutrition  \  golden  brown

turning  green on your tongue and  \  it’s too late to turn back and  \  the tree tells you that you always

had   the  choice to walk away  \  forgive me for not believing the College cares  \  your letter says you

reviewed  the  documentation submitted  by  my  physician  \  says  this  decision is limited  \  says my

request to teach  completely online is denied  \  did you know when you take a radiation pill everyone

leaves  the  room  to  observe  you, swallowing,  through  a  window  \  any  future  requests  will  be

evaluated  independently  \  i  only  have  one  question,  thank  you  for  asking  \  if  a  dog  eats  one

chocolate  covered almond, just one, will he be alright or turn a pale blue as the process is completed

Livia Meneghin is the author of Honey in My Hair and a Review Writer for GASHER. Her writing has found homes in The Academy of American Poets, BOAAT Journal, Entropy Magazine, Tinderbox, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. She earned her MFA at Emerson, where she is now affiliated faculty and Program Coordinator for EmersonWRITES.

Issue 32