- Under the Definition of Quarantine, an Example:"Many Animals Die in Quarantine"
for Dani Shorten
some days it's like being grounded after i missed my curfew and came home smelling of mints and a shot of schnapps. confined to my bedroom with records, a clarinet, and tattered issues of love and rockets comics. staring from my window at red earth and blue sky, before it also crimsoned. thinking how, years earlier, we were free to explore the desert like a new continent, as long as we didn't go farther than the sound of a two-fingered dad whistle. in the vastness it could be tricky to tell from which direction the sound was coming. but if we were too far to hear it, we were too far. we'd leave reluctantly and return home dusty, dangling lizards by tails. when they broke off, the tails continued wriggling between our fingers as lizards fell to the ground and tried to escape. sometimes we'd catch them again.
antarctica is technically a desert. the only continent without lizards. as of july 2020, antarctica is the only continent with no corona cases. but they were quarantining long before. like howard hughes. who also practiced vigorous handwashing and avoided door handles and handshakes. he said the desert was not only hot, but clean. sometimes we'd place lizards in clear jars with clean dirt. poke holes into metal lids so they could breathe. and see the world around them, but not join it. we were sure they'd rather breathe. [End Page 483]
marcy rae henry is a Latina from the Borderlands who once lived in the Himalayas, cooking by fire and bathing with rainwater. Her work has appeared in [PANK], The Columbia Review, and Epiphany. Her poetry chapbook is forthcoming from DoubleCross Press.