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We dwell in this quiet
house, sealed tight from a world
grown unfamiliar over long breathless 
weeks. Dry hot battles have waged 
within these walls, each day won, 
or lost, with the steady flood 
of oxygen, to the rise and fall
of body temps and the tight 
burn within my chest.

These battles 
are small and
also life
and death,
but four weeks
in, the terror
has grown

Beyond the walls
of my chest, of the beating
hearts in this house, grows untamed
terror, destruction, that we do not 
yet know, that have laid bare,
will still lay waste,
to my neighbors,
my friends, my city,
and so far beyond,
and as we recover
and stamina 
here inside, 
and plot our return,
I have begun to fear 
the vast weeping silence
we will find outside. 


Ann E. Wallace is a poet who lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her poetry collection, Counting by Sevens, is available from Main Street Rag (2019), and she has published poems in numerous journals, including Stirring, Mom Egg Review, Snapdragon, Riggwelter, as well as Halfway Down the Stairs. Her work can be found at and on Twitter @annwlace409.

© 2020, Ann E. Wallace

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