Poem Jan 23, 2024

The bar my ultimate team went to after games.
The restaurant I went to with a friend not long after her horse died and my dog died.
The religious nonprofit I saw my first therapist through on a sliding scale.
My ex C's old apartment, the first place we slept together at 22, the beginning of our 8 year relationship.
A friend's apartment that we carved pumpkins at. And then threw those pumpkins off a balcony. Or popped champagne.
A friend's where I did acid for the 1st and only time.
An office building I hosted events at, went to dance parties at.
A coffee shop that we planned women in tech events at. Before we needed to send out pandemic statements. Before I needed to block them on Instagram to avoid seeing their maskless events.
A friend's condo where I played D&D. The same building where my toxic PhD advisor lived which always made me nervous in the elevator. Where I found a homeless man sleeping in the lobby in the middle of winter just in time before the cops arrived.
The shelter I walked him to while he told me his traumatic life stories and my D&D group waited for me.
The wedding reception in a nearby park for those D&D friends that I did not attend.
Art fair on the square. Outdoor concerts. Farmer's market. Dancing. My favorite fried cheese curds.
The bar I did group pub runs at. Where I won a pair of socks at a Christmas gift exchange, after we took goofy pictures of our ugly sweater running crew with the Christmas light displays.
The only restaurant my sister can eat at downtown, because of cross-contamination celiacs. The place she took me for dinner after my service dog Franklin died.
My ex best friend's office where we worked on the roof once, in mid 2020. Back when she cared about infectious disease. And me.
The bar I went on a date at where I bet him I could guess whatever beer they brought me. And I did.
The bar I did trivia at, where I had a crush on a bartender.
The fancy glass office building I worked in with the bank and jewelry store.
The gym I used to go to for yoga and even massages on two occasions and jiu jitsu for 6 months.
A Pokémon Go gym from that one summer.
The place I tried improv, where I had a panic attack in the bathroom.
The bar I saw my friend at when he got back from his deployment in Ukraine. The bar I played pool at.
The office building I met my abusive ex at. Where a woman yelled at me for taking food at a catered lunch because she didn't believe I worked at a startup with all men.
The restaurant I had my 1st outdoors pandemic date at, after getting vaccinated.
The courtyard where my ex girlfriend disappeared during a queer dance party because another partner saw her and was jealous. My favorite place for tea. The same place we held our diverse progressive leadership training program graduation.
The coffee shop where I met a woman to make space for her stories about the same predator I knew. We knew. We all knew.
The new venue I went on a double date at with my closest friends, before we knew how common breakthrough infections are. The state rep I talked to at that event. Who I signed to get on the ballot in 2020 and now never masks. Like every other candidate I could choose.
The crowded street festivals and concerts right outside my apartment. Marinating in infectious disease and wildfire smoke.
The places and people I used to belong to.
Haunts that now haunt me.


"Wayside", from my upcoming poetry collection Mid Gaussian. I was driving home from getting a covid booster and everywhere in my city held memories. Everything reminded me of everyone. After a breakup with one person, it hurts but you get to make new memories with other people. What happens when you don't get to make new memories? When you don't get to go out or be with people to shake off your grief? vd: white nonbinary person with buzzed head, glasses, purple lipstick, wearing black jumpsuit #poetry #disabled #immunocompromised #covidcautious #grief #breakup #abandoned

♬ original sound - Cakelin

Image Description

Letter to President Biden. Middle of page has diagonal mask, with text forming the ear loops and border of the mask. The mask has all sorts of organs in it, because Covid damages organs. To the right of the mask is 10 demands from the BHEE collective, a group I was an organizer of that fought the ending of the Public Health Emergency. There is a bee flight path from the bottom of the right corner around pieces of the letter up towards the mask.
Dear President Biden,
I want to tell you about a person I’ve lost during this pandemic. My Grandma Mary Ann. She was my last grandparent. She died from a stroke and it’s not clear if covid contributed. I could not see her or go to her funeral because I am immunocompromised. She was delightful, funny, and goofy. I miss her laugh and kind support.
The people who’ve died are only one form of loss. I and many others have lost our access to the world. We’ve lost countless relationships to covid differences. People stopped masking because leaders like you stopped and said it was safe.
That has broken my world and my life. Please reconsider.
-cakelin fable, @thecakelin

10 Demands to Fight Covid
1. Cover vaccines, texts, treatments for ALL Americans
2. CO2 meters, air-filtration, and far-UVC lights in all federal buildings and other high risk areas
3. Clean air and Covid mitigation in schools
4. Overhaul the CDC’s communications strategy and rebuild public trust in the organization
5. Have POTUS and other leaders model #AirAware behaviors
6. The CDC must overhaul its Covid monitoring efforts
7. Federal government fast tracks new Covid vaccines, treatments, and mitigation measures, especially nasal vaccines and anti-viral nasal sprays
8. Patient led government funding for Long Covid research and expanded disability benefits
9. Vaccine equity and outreach, distribution of high quality masks, and paid leave
10. Global vaccine equity


Cakelin Fable

Polygon gargoyle. Spicy scientist, engineer, artist, and entrepreneur. Disabled, nonbinary, and bisexual. Host of Defective Detective podcast. Buddhist into books. Service dog pup Pepper Ann.

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