Writes With Pencils

fiction, memoir, essays and poetry

Month: April, 2020

More Than Just Statistics


If pairs of ravaged lungs were silver coins

mankind became a millionaire today,

and with another zero on the end

we learned how many pairs of idle hands

were left behind when March let out its roar.

And then a pair of feet in Italy

ran on a porch, a marathon alone

I didn’t hear how many laps it took

but they were just enough for me to hope

that we may end this vicious plague some day.

April 1st: Notes from the Pandemic

copper pot


Rent is due today
the mortgage on our home is too
but the place that’s bustled
to feed its guests and pay the bills
for more than twenty years
—always filled with scents
of smoked paprika
sautéed garlic
and Juan Carlos’s cologne
as he reaches past a shoulder
with a second glass of wine—
is closed.
For twenty days it has been dark
the gas shut off to minimize the debt
not a single pilot burns.
In front of them the copper counter lies
cold and empty unaware
of the reason for its solitude
and the pots and pans hang silently above
no clang against the heavy iron stove
no sizzle of raw meat against their steel.
These things know nothing of my worries
of how I will divide
the unsold loaves and fishes
to pay the landlord and the bank
and turn the lights back on.
Unaffected by the unseen foe
that sends us all apart,
(each into a separate residence)
they wait for our return.

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