Ann E. Wallace is writing poetry and essays as she recovers from long-haul COVID at home in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her poetry collection, Counting by Sevens, is available from Main Street Rag (2019), and she has published work in Huffington Post, Crack the Spine, and Snapdragon, as well as Clementine Unbound and other journals. Her work can be found at AnnWallacePhD.com and on Twitter @annwlace409.
This winter spring summer has been a long haul of suffering and silence, of sickbed days on repeat,
with life pared down to its essence, my attention honed on the fragile act of breathing in, then out, for four beats,
in, out, speaking, cooking, bathing hefty efforts to be weighed each day, any one jettisoned for the other.
Yet amid the scarcity, an abundance has flowed to my small and quiet place within this solitary house of quarantine.
Howie Good is the author of The Death Row Shuffle, a poetry collection forthcoming from Finishing Line Press.
It’s Not Me, It’s You
You hear the thin cries of a drowning man. You notice that seemingly innocent words like today, yesterday, and tomorrow have been censored. You pick quarrels with the baggers at grocery stores. You try but fail to ignore the prevalence of right-wing militias, foreign movies dubbed in English, shark sightings. You prefer baseball to football and a medically induced coma to either. You wonder what it would be like to suffer a gunshot. You have a recurrent dream you’re lost in an old abandoned warehouse, usually with a friend you had growing up, whose brother played Russian roulette once too often.
John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals in the last dozen years. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry contains links to his published poetry online.
Prayers and Complaints
We rise each day
From our beds to our knees
In our homes in need of love and art
With fresh prayers and complaints to God
On our lips that lie as we fold our hands that steal.
We cross the threshold into the day and the world:
The sun in our eyes, our legs a bit more buckled,
A more sinister pounding than yesterday felt
In the broken ornaments that are our hearts.