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Once we ran

Once we ran
High knees in place
On a tear.
The day was waiting for our actions.
Clocks were moved forward so there was more time.
Spending like lottery winners,
Press 3 for a company directory.
Shared drinks, microphones, wet kisses,
Guffawing, gesticulating.
A table for six.
We leaned closely to remove a mote from an eye.
Now we listen.
The empty subway hums under the sidewalk. The hermit thrush sings.
Teeth yellow, hair graying
These are of no interest, no urgency,
It can all wait til we finish this movie,
This mending, this perfect toast and jam.
Wait until we emerge from our concavity.
Speaking Italian, with shiny windows and
Tidy closets, arms full of our own leafy greens; there’s no way we can eat it all.
Ready to remove our polyps, calcifications and tartar
And join what’s left of humanity
In a world of goodness and mercy
Where we will surely get another chance.

⏤ Lisa Tumuli

Dispatches from the Front: Atlanta

This is just to say
(with apologies)

I have eaten
The asparagus
From the back
Of the fridge

Which you
Probably forgot
Lying limp in a bowl

It’s not the virus
Maybe slight
Food poisoning
And allergies

⏤ Reid Jensen


On Seeking Spiritual Balance
During the Current



Would you please shut up
He mutters under his breath
As he meditates

⏤ Brad Schnurr

Dispatches from the Front: Brooklyn


The Twin Towers: Helped us find our bearings: put your back to them, and you knew which way was north. We missed them when they were gone. The Freedom Tower, now a marker for where they used to be.

People on the Sidewalks of New York: The mass of people. Helped me find my path. Helped me embrace syncopated rhythm. A necessary negotiation. Every walk a dance.

Whether I embraced the Times Square crush of people or avoided it like, yeah, the plague, it was there. Like knowing I could go to 7th Avenue Donuts in Park Slope at four in the morning and have souvlaki. Twenty-two years here, and I never have. The comfort was in knowing that I could.

For now, we don’t do that. We shelter, distance, wash, avoid. It’ll pass. The danger will peak and flatten and diminish. Until the next thing topples another totem.

In the meantime, my pedestrian dance is a renewable energy source on mandatory hiatus. I miss it madly.

⏤ Hal Klopper