The family parks in a circle and stands each at their own car. The doctor tells them of the death. They stay in masks and coats until they are chilled and cold. They stay in the hospital lot, distanced, aware they cannot touch. The widow mother grandmother goes home alone to a dog and a house she’s told to disinfect. Of course she cannot. What is she made of? In the house, the dog, a bag of hamburgers, her husband dead, every surface a danger, the widow alone but for his dog. We are nearing inhuman times. Dolphins swim the canals of Venice.
Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as TheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review. Harbor Review’s microchap prize is named in her honor.
Editor Katelyn Roth graduated from Pittsburg State University with her Master’s in poetry. Her work has previously appeared online at Silver Birch Press and at Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity. She lives, works, and writes in Kansas City.