It’s September of 2020, which I am now calling “the Plague Year.” Not only do we have the coronavirus, the election looming over us, injustices in our systems emphasized on video on Twitter and protests in the streets, but we are dealing with the enforced confinement that a highly contagious virus requires — you still can’t hug a friend or fly across the country to see your families. On top of this, our Seattle September began with blinding, choking wildfire smoke from every direction, which sat on top of us for weeks. During that time, I broke a tooth, struggled with insomnia, and experienced nightmares. I checked in with a mental health professional, who diagnosed “stress, anxiety, and PSTD.” No kidding!
This year, and I am sure this is the case for many others, reading has become more important to my mental health than ever. I mainly write poetry, and