“Shelter in Place” with Bishakh Som

Magazine Review by Katy Haas

In the Summer 2020 issue of The Georgia Review, Bishakh Som finds a creative way to process feelings of longing and isolation in “Shelter in Place.” This graphic poem spans days in May, the images taking readers into a futuristic, sci-fi setting. Calendar dates guide the piece along, moving us from one day to the next as the speaker writes of what and who she misses in this strange state of life. At the end of the piece, we’re met with that now familiar feeling of time becoming unreal and immeasurable as the calendar page reads “May 32.”

While we all process our feelings about sheltering in place, living in a time of a global pandemic, and missing the physical connection with people we were once allotted, I appreciated this different and creative take. The change in setting and the beautiful language make “Shelter in Place” a stand-out among other pieces of writing that are responding to current life in COVID-19.

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