The City Announces Quarantine

In a game of Magic the Gathering,
              Armageddon lay between all of us
face-up on the table, and I declared we
              needed to slow down; it was the Ides
of March, and every land we drew our
              power from was removed from play.  The world
fell and we rewrote rules so that we would still
              convene, while busy highways became open
avenues of asphalt; we held hands and kissed
              each others’ faces when all else disappeared
like loaves of bread from grocery shelves,
              stolen away for what’s unknown.  We met
with a shuffling of sneakered feet in dark halls.
              Was it cheating to celebrate birthdays
in this age, to smile and laugh with friends
              in our arms and between our legs; to eat
cake when so many had a hunger
              for what we had?  We sang loudly off-key
and it sounded lovely, like the word secret.


 

Aaron DeLee.JPG

Pronouns: He/His

2 Poems

Aaron DeLee

The City Announces Quarantine

Mask 4 Mask

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Mask 4 Mask

 

We held our breath,

    walking past others in the narrow

grocery store aisles;

    our bandanas hid curled lips

and our eyes fixed ahead.
    
    We were afraid to touch

the food we were to take

    home and eat, but we touched

regardless.  The line between

    want and need spilled

somewhere in aisle 13,
    
    and we grabbed bags of snacks

for our quarantine;
    
    Doritos, Oreos, and ice cream

suddenly seemed essential

    when meats, bread and tissue

paper went missing for the first

    time I could remember.

An elderly man with no mask jolted

    upright as we passed, and lifted

his arms as if he were being robbed;

    none of us knew what would be

taken, or when we could breathe

    easy again, but the joke

was welcome all the same.

 

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