I stubbornly said I wanted time to myself
For Art and music to be my love again
I never asked for the distance
I wasn’t prepared for the world to kick back,
To tell me ‘don’t stray.’
But my mind wanted it
and our souls needed it
So one day when we wonder if this all really happened
There was enough distance to share,
between the sun, and dirt.
That there was enough space on this earth,
too much so, for each of us.
– Jida Gomez
your bad habits
piled in the corner
you let them slide
like old books
while the world spun you round
every day, something new
“they can wait”
now you’re alone and
the world let go
here they are
to your dusty old friends
– Chris Huber
the proximity of strangers in public
let us imagine again kissing strangers.
let us imagine the sweat of their upper lips.
let us brush shoulders soon in supermarkets
& not startle, not flutter in us
the crows of anxiety, black-feathered murder
perched on our hunched shoulders cawing
“sick, sick, sick.”
let us step in chewed gum (one day, we will again)
& not fear the infection of spit.
dirt-freckled glob stuck to our shoes—
even this, a kind of gross proof of love,
how any sticky substance might adhere
us to others.
from spring’s lonely languor, let us
dream of closeness. let us gander
summer days. even the sun’s
brimstone prayer dance is holy
singe on pinked skin.
the burn is worthwhile for that hour of good light.
– Derek Berry
i feel very held in the warm air after teeth chattering outside.
we move our feet fast in February after a few days of almost spring.
there are mostly fallings apart for fallings together.
you were right when you said it’s all been said before.
it’s all rather sweetly.
i play my ears rain before sleeping.
i’m getting older and mostly more amazed.
i make excuses for people or i believe in the good in them. i believe in them and i believe in us.
i want to be sweet because sweet is the best you can be.
i want to step my foot and love where it lands. again and again and again.
i hope you sleep well tonight. and again and again and again.
– Harmony Baggett
If you’re quiet enough-you can hear the whispers
Of all the minds
That are alone.
Conversations on-going. Convincing their minds to be….
As if the mere ability to survive is all we’re capable of.
I’m screaming into the void
With Hope that those lonely
Minds catch a piece of my voice
Shaking. And scared. But willing to
Scream into the space of silence.
The window pane of censored speak
Begins to burst at the vibration of tones
Confident enough to speak above a whisper.
Each syllable. Unsteady and afraid.
Pierces the conviction of souls
that were told they were alone in
This fight against their own mind
Bring your gloves and protect your soul
Against the crowd. They’re screaming to
Quiet my voice. Reminding you to get out
Of the ring.
– Emily Greenway
The Closeness of Six Feet
I’ve started to recognize the closeness
Of two beach chairs on opposite sides of the yard
Sending messages to make each other cackle as we sweat under the spring sun
Of a child playing I Spy with a grandmother
Him on the ground and she on her nursing home balcony
Of latex-gloved stroller pushes
On slow, careful walks across the bridge
Of wearing the mask out so your wife doesn’t have to
Speaking too loudly into the phone for the grocery list you forgot to bring
Of hands clapping rather than shaking from porches
As the nurses and doctors walk home from their shifts
Of splitting off the trail into the mulch and grass to give distance
To a stranger on a morning walk
The closeness of being six feet apart
– Alexandra Hubbell
Wilted flowers, a vase, two saggy chairs, no water in the cup
A drained coffee mug but for grounds gelling to the bottom
A faded painting and broken-spined books
And you with them
In the left chair
Legs over ottoman and arms over arms
Alive around the dying
– Alexandra Hubbell
We’re barefoot in the kitchen
There’s Charades in the living room
And popcorn on the stove
Glasses flowing with wine
Mouths pouring with laughter
And our bellies warm
with that familiar feeling
The feeling we never thought would fade
That would last a thousand summers
Cause after all,
There’s something in the summer air
Thick with cicadas
And foolish whim
That makes the illusion of reality
Seem far, far away
– Jean Catherine Hubbard
It’s the never ending January
the long monotonous month
Where days and nights bleed together
A collective resting period
For our minds and souls to heal
And begin anew
Huddled inside our fire-lit homes
Safe from the harsh wind outside
But now the birds are chirping
And the sun shines warm on your face
To step out and begin anew
Shake off the long month’s dust
But it’s the never ending January
And our minds and souls are forced
To rest and heal
– Jean Catherine Hubbard
Always yearning for more,
Yet trapped by the boundary of our own limitation,
Clinging to certainty,
Yet craving community,
Wake up and open the door,
this will become your vocation.
– Emily Hill