Creative The Love Issue

Poem: Viral Lovers

“Love is infectious.”

By Fatema Alzari

A virus is not a living thing. A virus is a complicated assembly of bonds looking for a host. A virus is infectious. A virus is measured across space and time, across selves and species, across nature and manufacture. A virus too wears a mask. People fear the virus. People pretend it  doesn’t exist. Some people take all precautions against a virus, and say, “Look I’m alone and healthy.” We want to believe that our bodies won’t betray us. But the virus will find its way; it does not discriminate. A virus is neutral without a living cell to inhabit. But a virus is also sometimes asymptomatic. No virus looks the same but all novel viruses can cause an outbreak. The world is crowded with bodies used as footrests and the virus is hardly a virus at all.

Love is not a living thing. Love is a complicated assembly of bonds looking for a host. Love is infectious. Love is measured across space and time, across selves and species, across nature and manufacture. Love too wears a mask. People fear love. People pretend  it doesn’t exist. Some people take all precautions against love, and say, “Look I’m alone and healthy.” We want to believe that our bodies won’t betray us. But love will find its way;  it does not discriminate. Love is neutral without a living cell to inhabit. But love is also sometimes asymptomatic. No love looks the same but all novel loves can cause an outbreak. The world is crowded with bodies used as footrests and love is hardly love at all.


Fatema Alzari is a Bahraini expression magician who has lived between Germany and the UK for the past five years.  She is a self-taught writer, artist and photographer. This is her first published poem.

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