A poem about the dangers of being seen.
"Connubial," by Stephen Dunn.
Because with alarming accuracy
she’d been identifying patterns
I was unaware of—this tic, that
tendency, like the way I’ve mastered
the language of intimacy
in order to conceal how I felt—
I knew I was in danger
of being terribly understood.
Then, as now, people viewed diseases as coming from faraway lands, from “them,” not “us.” By the 1700s, the plague was sometimes even referred to as “la peste Levantina” or the Levantine plague, referring to the region of the world occupied by present-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and much of Turkey.↩︎ STAT