Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021


by Robin S. Axworthy

Photo credit: Bette Ferber via The New York Times.

I have grown used to the moisture of my own breath 
on night walks, the mask, the sound of my own breathing 

pushed up past my ears.  Used to my own company at home, 
with only husband and sometimes daughter.  Used to any other

contacts as just the glass and scratch of microphone, letters 
appearing and sorting into sense on a screen. Used to touch

as poison to be scraped clean with alcohol and friction.
Accustomed now to nearness an electric buzz of warning

away from flesh, ears so used to staccato whine they have forgotten 
rippling waterfall of open mouth, mouth forgotten how breath 

feels naked and dry, thin in the bare air, my hands so used to solitude 
they’ve forgotten how to find their way to warmth.  

Robin S. Axworthy has been published in various anthologies including, most recently, Dark Ink: An Anthology Inspired by Horror (Moon Tide Press) and Is It Hot in Here or Is It Just Me? Women Over Forty Write on Aging (Beautiful Cadaver Project). Her chapbook Crabgrass World was published in March 2020 by Moon Tide Press.