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Saturday, May 16, 2020


by Carol Alexander 

People wandered streets with net bags of oranges,
spooked by the lonesome traffic lights. Each grew a compound eye.
Birds waxed tenacious. God willing they sang.
Apartment houses feigned cataracts with china pugs, ormolu
(gilded in desired shapes) while dog-walkers walked alone.
No one trusted fingers, floats of fleshy cut flowers; there were little crimes.
Sometimes they dreamed of the lost, how a coffin should gleam
when an unwilling heart was shocked into submission at last.
Seven o'clock marked an anniversary of quarantine and temperature.
The remains of the day—they held each other wordlessly, lawlessly
and on mild days the infection spread, over narcissus and forsythia.
Wind blew through the firehouse. Park benches said remember them.

Carol Alexander (on her fifth week of Covid infection, as is her husband) is the author of Environments (Dos Madres Press), Habitat Lost (Cave Moon Press), and Bridal Veil Falls (Flutter Press). Her poems appear in various anthologies and in journals such as The American Journal of Poetry, Chiron Review, The Common, Cumberland River Review, Hamilton Stone Review, One, Seattle Review of Books, Southern Humanities Review, Sweet Tree Review, and Third Wednesday. She is a past contributor to TheNewVerse.News.  Recent work is forthcoming this year in Denver Quarterly and Raintown Review.