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Monday, March 16, 2020


by Rachel Voss

“This week, as a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, I voted to declare a state of emergency. On Friday, we made the difficult decision to shut down schools for nearly 700,000 students across 700 square miles for at least the next two weeks.” —Nick Melvoin, The New York Times, March 14, 2020. Photo: An empty athletic field at Hollywood High School on Friday.Credit: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press via The New York Times

Spring’s come early, tenuous
crown of flowers settled

on the frowning brow
of the globe, one nature

under quarantine, invisible
borders fencing in liberty, just

barely perceptible from
a bird’s eye view. All

is in bloom, like a rash
on a fevered body, like

a restless teenager cooped up
at home: vernal, profuse,

spent. We know what
the cherry blossom signifies.

Rachel Voss is a high school English teacher living in Queens, New York. She graduated with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature from SUNY Purchase College. Her work has previously appeared in The Ghazal Page, Hanging Loose Magazine, Unsplendid, Jokes Review, NonBinary Review, 3Elements Review, and Bodega Magazine among others.