La Régle des Trois Unités

photo credit Annie Faith

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


in dissonance with the tick of the clock jarring


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


are alive just enough

to mobilize biometrics x-rays and genes that will

hold bodiless bodies behind walls and contained and unmixed 


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 St,.

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


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


as if time stood still


the way I think on my side of world geographies:

veiling shall save us now.

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. She acknowledges the collaboration with Rye Gentleman and Rachael Pilgrim of the University of Minnesota Student Writing services for their help in strengthening this prose poem.