we, in the days of quarantine.

by Michael King

i am an early riser
with nowhere to go,
a storyteller hoping
the wifi won’t cut me
mid-sentence, a
runner through an
abandoned cityscape,
catching my reflection
in two hundred
silent storefronts

we sit in staring contests
with our calendar dates,
each daring the other
to make a bold prophecy:
the day i can meet my
friend at the coffeehouse,
clink my mimosa glass
amidst the brunchtime
cacophony, rifle through
the stacks at the
bookstore, just for
something to carry to
the park that day

we are postponed
wedding days, decorations
tucked into boxes with
tender hands, funerals
from a safe distance, i
hope you know
how much i loved
her laugh, birthdays
spent in empty
living rooms

and we are
bodies that break into
dance because they
crave freedom, faces
that spill tears, a
confession told through
rectangular screens, we
are runners watching
the horizon, waiting
for the signal to
go, limbs flailing, heart
thundering, go

hope is a stubborn
weed, whose flowers are
nurtured through
humor, sincerity, compassion,
stubbornness itself,
we are hope itself.

Hand