We won’t necessarily be better off

and I’ve made my peace with that.

But the oceans will be semi-gorgeous

and compromising, a laissez-faire approach

and we have to be hands-off now, don’t we?

Take the stem through your teeth from one end and

keep the distances long, but briefly hold

eyes in contact. Our irises something like

swimming pools, innumerable pools,

pools of liquid memory — how effortless

I dip myself in.

Please click here for more Pandemic Poems.

Kate Belew is a Brooklyn Based writer from the Midwest. She has been involved in projects of writing with Poets House, The National Book Critics Circle, The Poetry Society of New York, Evolver, The New York City Poetry Festival, Slice Magazine, The Poetry Brothel, Publisher’s Weekly, and Milk Press.  She also works as a content and marketing consultant for Evolver and The Alchemist’s Kitchen among others. She is a recent graduate from Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA in Poetry where she taught seventh-grade creative writing at The Baccalaureate School for Global Education in Queens, New York, and facilitated a Women’s Writing Group at Westchester Correctional Facility. Follow her on Instagram: @k8belew

A Brooklyn based poet originally from Idaho, Emi Bergquist’s work often explores the intersection of identity, sexuality, nature, love, and loss. Since 2015, she has been an active associate of The Poetry Society of New York, a regular cast member of The Poetry Brothel where she has helped produce immersive poetry experiences across the country, an editor of Milk Press Books, and most recently, a collaborator on Pandemic Poems. More of her work can be found under her stage name: https://www.monahmayhem.com/ or by following @emuloo on Instagram.

Jackie Braje is a Brooklyn based poet. She is the Programs Director of The Poetry Society of New York, the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Milk Press, and a Poetry MFA candidate at Brooklyn College. Her work has appeared in The Quarterless Review, Everything in Aspic, The Minnesota Review, The Nottingham Review, Brooklyn Poets, Vagabond City, Waccamaw, Bridge Eight, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a 2019 Brooklyn Poets Fellowship and a 2020 Mineral School Artist Residency.

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TNB Poetry features poems and self-interviews from some of the world's finest poets. Past and future writers include Catherine Tufariello, Lewis Turco, Timothy Steele, Amber Tamblyn and Wanda Coleman. Our editorial team comprises: UCHE OGBUJI (uche.ogbuji.net, @uogbuji) is a Nigerian-American poet, editor ( Kin) & computer engineer living near Boulder, Colorado, USA. His short collection of poems Ndewo, Colorado is available from Aldrich Press. RICH FERGUSON (YouTube) has been published and anthologized by various journals and presses. He is also a featured performer in the film, What About Me?. WENDY CHIN-TANNER is a poet, an editor (Kin), interviewer (Lantern), a sociology instructor (Cambridge, UK), and co-founder of A Wave Blue World, a publishing company for graphic novels. DENA RASH GUZMAN, is author of Life Cycle—Poems, Dog On A Chain Press, 2013, Founding Editor of Unshod Quills, Poetry Editor and Managing Director at HAL Publishing (Shanghai & Hong Kong). Uche, Wendy & Dena are founding members of The Stanza Massive poetry/media collective.

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