La règle des trois unités, by Beaudelaine Pierre

unité de temps

And the students said
in their surreal utopian world
there will be no currency
no one will be put to work to live and
containing students between walls to
turn them into docile citizens will be punished
there will be a reorder of gender
walls and lands and
the young will choose their learning in alignment with their calling in alignment with their vision in alignment with community needs and
there will be no prisons
no demokrasi pépé
only witches and mad women
to govern the city
all times made equal

Covid dix-neuf pour
l’an deux mille vingt
schools’ doors are closed
no one goes to work
grocery shelves are down and
my neighbor knock knocks all day
I have an extra pack of rice of toilet paper of
apples and all day my daughter
tik-toks herself away:
this is surreal.

unité d’action

Before all that fuss
restez á la maison!
I lived in quarantine and
dying and fleeing the people
my neck in a chokehold
their hands and
I ran towards trees and sunlight to
keep my head above human hold
going orderly viral

Corona enters the stage
nothing I haven’t already lived
I just continue doing what I was doing
before tiny organisms became human infested:
fleeing people fleeing from me
for sea sun seeds and phenol
still
in dissonance with the tick of the clock jarring
disorderly
faster than its needles.

unité de mesure

For I had thought
the feet were for sitting on all day
not for walking like fingers do on keyboards
24 hours a day tic tac tic tac
and the living behind the veil they don’t see
yet
are alive just enough
to mobilize biometrics x-rays and genes that will
hold bodiless bodies behind walls and contained and unmixed 
and
I had thought the plague would come from the roturier
or the shithole
not from the heir or from north
that walls-world-streets of biocitizenry were for gasoline engines and roars
not for turkeys and aliens to parade in colonies
or sticks suddenly standing up and walking away chickens greens and toes
as they have always done
And the money I thought was for the slave workers
not to give away to slaves with no wages And I had thought
that the day to park my car in the streets of downtown Saint Paul
without paying away the land meter by meter
would never come.
that my children were to be sent away each morning to the prison principal
then to the after-school program
then to the church community dinner before they hit home to sleep
VLAN!
for the guardians of the city to stock up as many shifts as their needled fingers and toes can
tick tock

In the apocalypse
clock jumping from two minutes to midnight
I thought all the thoughts I thought were for thinking
my nose my neck my thought behind a worn-out veil
eyeing other fellow stick walkers walking disorderly south and 
in an atom exchange
thinking
as if time stood still
still
the way I think on my side of world geographies:
veiling shall save us now.


This poem was also featured on Minnesota Women’s Press – Ecosystem Quaranzine.
Beaudelaine Pierre (she/her) is an essayist and novelist raised in Haiti, and a doctoral candidate in Gender Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her upcoming book, “You May Have the Suitcase Now,” is in production at New Rivers Press. Beaudelaine sends her sincerest thanks to Rye Gentleman and Rachael Pilgrim of the University of Minnesota Student Writing services whose reading, comments, and suggestions made La règle des trois unités much stronger. 
Suggested citation:
Pierre, B. 13 May 2020. “La règle des trois unités.” AGITATE! Blog: http://agitatejournal.org/la-regle-des-trois-unites.