Quarantine Excursion

by Maria S. Picone


At the intercoastal waterway, we watch green reeds

samba in the wind, pods of neighbors frolic in

six-feet space, the wake of boats streaming by;

out for a walk in the pavement sunshine

I could, in our colorblock apartment recreation

spaces, visit the pet park—a blank greenery erasing

my worries—tennis court, playground, pond: museum to

normalcy. All it takes to slingshot                  my mind

across a million distances with the fuel of iterative worry is:

the idea we might occupy the same picnic table

as the virus. This scenic idyll lies—


they are killing you. They are killing the forest: listen.

That wafting smoke is your right to breathe. Not to barbecue as

we marathon. We outrun predictions. Days are no longer dates

but death tolls. Yesterday +1595. Days                      stretch

out, stunning our late-setting ambitious sun

into the torpor of a final Zoom call.   We long           to emerge.

Outside, in the clear air, an older couple unfurls

a boat from the docks, struggling with its white whale

weight. Reader, I add my voice as the cut of a nail on an unsteady

wooden pier, splinter jarring your hand as you struggle to launch,

the plunging resistance as your nose emerges from the water.




Maria S. Picone has an MFA from Goddard College. As a Korean adoptee in an Italian American family and a New Englander, her obsessions with noodles, seafood, and the ocean are hardly her fault. Her poetry and creative nonfiction appear in talking about strawberries all of the time, Mineral Lit Mag, Ariel Chart, and the Able Muse. Her Twitter is @mspicone, and her website is mariaspicone.com.




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