Quarantine Renaissance

In Pandemic Files

By Sierra Foltz


This is a series of poems and haikus written in Quarantine, about Quarantine, and about how I’m feeling and coping with a new, anxiety-ridden way of life. 


and then I was left
———-wondering
has she even read Ginsberg?

is she with me
———- or is she
America

American-made
——–I have four cans of black beans
——————-and one loaf of bread.

She is the warm crust 
——– of a pie
——————— -apple

and I’m thinking
about my mom
my dad, yelling

————————at not me
————————not her, not
————————really anyone
————————or anything

————————————————I feel that, too.

Orange towel hangs
on the door, closed, but the lock
does not work today.

Broken lava lamp
I might cry. Don’t look at me
Need thirty dollars.

My mom made waffles
chocolate chips in mine please
and syrup on top.

Backyard yoga but
my dog won’t stop barking and
it’s too windy out.

I cleaned my room, found
three dollars twenty nine cents
shiny coins thank God.

Paying student loans
Does Discover accept coins
-Don’t have a checkbook.

I’m about to write
a poem called “Who the Fuck
IS TIM MCGRAW?”

Don’t look at me 
while I run
chest tight
with anxiety
I don’t want
to talk.

Neighbors walking their dogs
for the first time
ever.

I don’t live here anymore
and I hope I don’t fucking belong here
either.

Imagine.
Having kids.
Teaching them things.
Like how to kick a soccer ball
to keep yourself from suffocating.
Like how to smile and wave
when people walk by
even though you don’t know them
and wish they’d stay inside.
Like how to say “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Imagine.
Having a house.
And a yard.
And neighbors you secretly hate.
Like the Jackass across the street
who keeps his grass mowed 
in a perfect checkerboard pattern.
Even now.
The world has stopped moving
but at least my grass is greener than yours.


Reading, Quotidian Forms

I’ve read the cookbook in the first shelf on your left
cover to cover
and I still don’t know what turmeric is
or how to say it.

The shampoo bottle sent me spiraling,
what exactly does grape seed extract do
for my hair and speaking of hair
I should shave it all off

Except for my leg hair
which is fun to look at it
especially when it pokes through my socks.

After reading the Uno rulebook, I’m sure
that the kids I played at summer camp
were making up rules.
Is this how it feels being old?

Speaking of summer camp
I read my old employee handbook
and as it turns out
I wasn’t supposed to be using recreational drugs.

I spent twenty five minutes reading
the menu for the Indian restaurant down the street
and decided excitedly on Bhindi Masala
but they were closed.

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