Saturday, 2 January 2021

Our Assorted Quarantines - Elizabeth Kate Switaj

I’m running thirty miles of quarantine with wandering pigs and semi
-feral dogs. Beach and coral and islets complete
the two-lane road’s atoll. You said that you were strangely proud
to know someone surrounded
by so much Pacific, and now your quarantine
is just your flat. Mine never exceeds an Olympic
pool’s length from oceanside or lagoon. The Olympics were meant
this year for the city where we met.
You’re teaching online. I’m preparing my college in case confirmed
cases hit the island. Flights have gone from eight per week to two
in April. May is unconfirmed.

But mostly we’re waiting to know
who that we know will die.
The closest I have ever come to weightlessness
is diving, and I can still descend
among the unicorn fish, eels, rays, and reef sharks of assorted tips.

But the idea of smallness is relative; it depends on what is included and excluded in any calculation of size. — Epeli Hau’ofa

Elizabeth Kate Switaj (21st Century) Marshall Islands

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