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"Quarantining with You": a poem by Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña

Quarantining with You 

By Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña


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The rebuke of your love is better

than the made bed of isolation

and an awkward kiss I prefer

to this rented dominion kept neat. 


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I would not have said so at first, 

but on day ten I can’t deny

the missed meal of your company 

is a steep climb on an empty stomach.


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Close quarters, you’ve always kept them

with me—we hadn’t left for the desert yet, 

but I remember you—now to sit still, 

to seclude just us, makes emergency candles melt 

and hidden dollar bills dwindle into the afterlife.

What sort of person are you? The one I can’t resist.

I’m afraid of what you will say, what days succeeding

without number will reveal; when the rice runs out,

the faucet spins dry, when I’m driven to do without

the list of things people need to be prepared.