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Saturday, March 14, 2020


by Mark Ward

No. We sit against the walls,
a room-width apart, texting
filthy emojis, slack-jawed
but careful not to drip on
anything. You put on gloves, panting
through your mask and send me
a gif: two people kissing. Us.

Practice Social Distancing.
We take this opportunity
to claim corners of the house:
the sitting room becomes a DMZ.
You hole up in your office, maskless
and healthy. You’ve really just been
seeking an excuse, haven’t you?

The gays still fuck, will fuck
through anything. If AIDS didn’t
stop us, nothing will. Grindr
lit up like a Christmas tree,
gaudy baubles dangling. The glory-
holes however asking status again:
Have you been away recently?

Mark Ward is the author of Circumference (Finishing Line Press, 2018) and Carcass (Seven Kitchens Press), as well as a full-length collection, Nightlight (Salmon Poetry, 2022). He is the founding editor of Impossible Archetype, an international journal of LGBTQ+ poetry, now in its fourth year.