99 days
Give me a paper kiss mom, those which remain stuck between your mask and mine, those which do not have a temperature but which sound like your usual kisses.

Paper kisses like candy that can get caught in the pleats of the mask, and back home I will catch and pasting them on the cheeks.

We were three months isolated and separated. My son was unaware of me nothing more than what they told and I didn’t want to hear news, it was very painful to know that out there was a child who doubted if I was still alive or not.

How to explain a child that his mother lives but who cannot see him or receive a letter from her. How to make it possible, if on his birthday does not have the expected call from his mother, if the space where they say that she is, is unknown to him. 

How many kisses were not given at that time, how many tears of fear.

In the space of the ICU, kisses up to become soldiers of a terrifying army of germs and bacteria.

Kisses are at the door of the ICU, on the lips of the sick, lose their gesture, their simplicity and wither.

My son was let see me in the ICU, after many weeks; camouflaged with a cap, gown, gloves and mask to enter to visit me. I was sat down on the couch and remained connected to the ventilator.

Give me a paper kiss mom.

Perhaps it remains in the mask and I can take it home. A paper kiss of yours, of mine.

Raquel Nieto