Beyond the Door quarantine, week 2 Kitty Costello 

Someone has been knocking on the door so

long that her knuckles are raw with rapping. We have shut her out 

with her stringy black hair and her earthen coat. 

We have banished her to an imaginary underworld, dressed her up for a party with Persephone, somewhere else, long ago, in some other season, in some exotic land where no one real ever lived 

or died.

We have banished her with wine, 

with trips to the mall. 

We have banished her with grand plans for our grand lives parading into 

utopian perfection. 

We have banished her 

with full-fat or gluten-free choice, 

with organic or toxified style, 

with Xbox and Zoom and CGI.

Her patience wears thin and cannot be refused. She could always walk through walls, leap 6-foot gaps. She could always 

rear her head and bare her teeth, 

faithful across all the ages 

we thought were so backward, so 

unsafe, so yesterday, arriving 

here, now. 

The doorknob is delusion. 

Control is not at hand. 

Who knows where the control room is or how to even start looking ? 

Step one: feel your next breath. 

Step two: relax your fist.

We have banished her 

with funeral homes reeking of lilies. 

We have kept her beyond our door. 

She knows where to find us.

Upper Dells · Teresa Beatty

No Time to Rest Jason Szydlik

Here in Golden Gate Park 

Flowers always bloom —  

In summer fogs and winters dark. 

January’s not stark 

Or stunted with gloom 

Here in Golden Gate Park. 

Blasts of color mark 

What were once shifting dunes 

In summer fogs and winters dark. 

But spring never bursts apart, 

And fall’s brown never looms 

Here in Golden Gate Park. 

The gardeners always work, 

With plants to tend and groom 

In summer fogs and winters dark. 

Yet most every day hints of murk 

And whiffs of coming doom —  

Here in Golden Gate Park —  

In summer fogs and winters dark.

You and I Are Soldiers Rocio Ramirez 

my brother Herbie said to me
As we survived our childhoods

Thunder of storms
Lightning of shock and pain
Winter of heavy rains
Our mother’s death and the sound of falling rain, forever etched in our sister Luísa’s memory

In a child’s playroom,
Herbie joyfully rode a dappled rocking horse,
while I placed amber citrines,
pearls gleaming from earrings,
our mother purchased at a thrift shop

white seashells
Translucent light of paste gems
My child’s eyes momentarily saw as real

I remember Herbie and I Christmas shopping at J.C. Penney Herbie thoughtfully buying an elegant bottle of Chanel 19, for our mother Ines
Pulse points
scented with poignant perfume

Herbie and I missing our yellow school bus,
on purpose

Herbie and I happily walking back,
into our yellow clapboard house,
to stay home with our mother
On a rare occasion when she stayed home from work

On a rainy morning,
our mother drowned on a flooded road,
while driving her blue Honda Civic to work

Our mother planted flowers, for us to remember her In the spring, tiny tangerine roses, bloomed to my delight Delicate pink roses bloomed for Luisa

I remember Herbie
walking across a field,
carrying our mother’s tall yellow sunflowers