Dress Code © Jenevieve Aken
By Sarah Murray
She plunged her fingers into the jar of vaseline and slicked it over her skin. One jar a day.
The gelatinous coating was known to absorb all particles, forming a protective glaze of impenetrable moisture.
She took the last scoop and spread it over her teeth, around her mouth, and into the back of her throat. She had almost convinced herself that the tangy burn was like taking a swig of tequila.
Once the suit was complete, she affixed her face mask in an effort to block any infected oxygen from crawling into her lungs.
She gently arranged four rolls of toilet paper upon her head, and affixed them with pins that dug into her scalp so as to deter any would-be thieves. She tilted this hat to one side of her head as a stylish afterthought. It was rare to find toilet paper in the wild, and one had to be prepared.
She kept her breath short and quick. Deep inhales felt like a distant memory.
Her fingers reached for the brass door knob. She turned it halfway before her breath fluttered higher into her throat and she braced herself against the door, preparing for a fall.
Her eyes drifted to the window and an outside world that offered the certain promise of infection.
It was too dangerous.
by Martha Teverson
Toilet roll and protective masks,
Rubber gloves and eyes that dart,
The contrast of stillness, pain and the absurd,
Stay in isolation – don’t join the herd
by Ashley Loura
Adorn me in a paper veil
A protective layer of hope
For those of us still here
Some in a fight against the invisible, but deadly creature
Some losing a battle with humanity
A rally of competition
A dress code of inequity
Misplaced in a fight with ourselves