by K. Ann MacNeil

It’s not 
that I’ve been less than a mile 
from the cottage in weeks,
not that I can count on one hand with fingers left 
how many times I’ve been 
in a car in months.                                       

It’s not 
so much the obvious that 

It’s not 
our growing mask collection:
the first two cut and sewn by you from a thrifted purple pillowcase and kitchen twine;
the next two ripped and knotted by me from an old Red Sox t-shirt;
the next two thank yous from an abolitionist org;
the most recent two, silk damask, gifted from a textile artist friend at Parsons. 

remembering not 
to wet my own finger
to turn a page
to test the cast iron pan
to twist the thread but refusing 
to remember when 
I extinguish the flame 
a household devotional wick
a pinch.

K. Ann MacNeil lives on an estuary in northern Manhattan and an ocean in southern Maine.  Her work has been published in The Still Blue Project: Writing with Working Class Queers in Mind; Love, Always: Partners of Trans People on Intimacy, Challenge, and Resilience; Closet Cases: Queers on What We Wear; and Sweeter Voices Still: An LGBTQ Anthology from Middle America.  Salt, a mini-collection of micropoems, is forthcoming from Rinky Dink Press. Varada J.M. is a 9th-grader based in Kerala’s Koyilandi, studying at Rani Public School, Vadakara. After hurriedly doing homework, Varada divides her time between practicing classical dance and watching horror films. She loves dogs but nobody at home wants one.