Written Story by Tim Murphy

One of the Millions Missing

Sometimes Long Covid
seems like it never ends,
and maybe sometimes
it doesn’t.
Now bed-bound,
I honestly don’t know
how, if
mine will.

I don’t even really know how it all began.
Which concussion lit the fuse for these ruins of me?
Which moment was it exactly that I breathed in
this presence that robbed my future?
How did my life become this malaise
I must evade but enter merely by walking
across a room or petting my dog
a moment too long?

Our quality of life,
among the lowest
of all diseases,
yet many don’t believe us,
maskless doctors traumatize
but don’t treat us,
friends, family risk our lives
for their convenience.

Most people once in my life,
a world away
yet still right here,
casually mainstreaming right-wing denial,
while those of us most sick,
discarded reminders of an endless pandemic,
easier to forget than remember as real,
left to bear alone all they would not face.

I am one of the
millions missing
and am still fighting,
not this illness, however
unwelcome, now a part of me,
but the arrogance of ableism
that lets a virus breathe freer than us,
that keeps us from being found.