2020 Contributing Writers Pandemic Poetry

Rate of Diminishing Returns

Written by Marianna Faynshteyn

Rate of diminishing returns
We’ve hit a wall: what worked for us isn’t working for us
A trend is sailing across the x-axis, on a relentless tide that won’t recede no matter how many moons
Label the y trouble, name the graph current state
Indirect relationship: profit margin and overhead, money and sympathy
Have your children
But what will your children have?
Desperate women carrying babies stand at the entryways of countries they can’t pronounce
While tired VPs carrying targets stand before rows of people whose gaze they can’t meet
The parents before us belabor the importance of the things that have become invisible to them
While the parents ahead of us labor the pain of the invisible things that have grown inside of them
What are your pain points your must haves
She points to her pain and doctor says you must have
Made this up, done this to yourself
Until he opens her up and sees scars that scrape from inside her, tissue too torn to piece together
Nothing is something until it is named and nothing is still nothing until it happens to men
We’re all so tired but we can’t sleep
I set my alarm, make myself promise to bypass the snooze
Meeting starts at 9 must make the minutes in the morning count
I hear The Second Coming as I close my eyes
“Things fall apart”
“Things fall apart”

Marianna was born in Ukraine, raised in New York and has lived in Amsterdam for 5 years. She likes sad music and has strong opinions.

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