What Happened in Isolation Stays

By Sarah Marquez

The lipstick I wear coming out

of isolation is called Divine,

but I am not.


What I am is hard-shelled.

Able to survive hours on land,



My lips wear rose with a hit

of mauve well. Luxuriate in

50mg of CBD and rich botanicals.


It will take time to process

the bite of May, every brain cell

alert that this may be the last.


The balance, as we know it, is shifting

again. The star in the mouth

not yet bright enough.


Dear future, what do you have

planned? I am leaving the porch light on,

the door unlocked.


A welcome mat for the stranger

to rest tired feet. I keep one ear open

for instructions.


Tell me the flowers are arranged just right,

by the cracked window, for a light wind

to whisk away their fragrance.


Like every virtual connection we made

in the small hours–I suspect they’re

nothing now.


Tell me the house is still a refuge,

and the garden will still be good

to me, though I won’t remember


where I planted it.


Sarah Marquez (she/her) is an MA candidate at National University. She is based in Los Angeles and has work published and forthcoming in various magazines and journals, including Capsule Stories, Human/Kind Journal, Kissing Dynamite, Sandy River Review and Twist in Time Magazine. When not writing, she can be found reading, sipping coffee, or tweeting @Sarahmarissa338

This piece is a part of DISTANCED 2.0.

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