Funny how a word we don't want to embody could catch on so fast. Even six feet becomes a punchline as the tailgater continues too close despite what is in front of us. Someone knocks on the front door & I panic. Similar to scrolling down through Facebook, I have to tell myself to stop, to stop. Even its etymology switches between what we don’t want & need, from contagion: con- together with & tangere to touch.
Dennis Etzel Jr. lives with Carrie and the boys in Topeka, Kansas where he teaches English at Washburn University. His work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, BlazeVOX, Fact-Simile, 1913: a journal of poetic forms, 3:AM, Tarpaulin Sky, DIAGRAM, and others.
Guest Editor Julie Ramon is an English instructor at NEO A&M in Miami, Oklahoma. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Among writing, her interests include baking, sewing, traveling, and garage sales. She is also a co-organizer of a Joplin, Missouri poetry series, Downtown Poetry. She lives in Joplin with her husband, daughter, and sons.