Writer of the Quarantine: Yoko Hill 

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Yoko Hill has been writing and reading poetry in Oklahoma City since the early aughts. Her favorite topics include humanity, math, politics and electrons. She is the current chairperson for Red Dirt Poetry, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support, educate and promote Oklahoma poets. Red Dirt Poetry has moved its weekly Wednesday night readings to Skype for the time being, and information about that can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@RedDirtPoetry).


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Braving Virus-Breathing Pandemic Dragons

Refresh, Johns Hopkins reloads
The chicken poxed America
And we divide into people who have lost
And people who have not
Each a different empathy, experience
With a little red dot

My doctor showed me a printout
Pointed to the different heart bumps
Said “these ones aren’t quite right”
And I dive into arrythmia flows
Swimming in syncope scares
Daily paddling against fluid vertigos

Now supermarkets are pocked with unmasked egoists
Too narcissistic to keep their germs to themselves
Like an angry drunk man and his junk
Screaming he shouldn’t have to wear pants
‘cause freedom, ‘cause America
‘cause he can’t understand statistics and chance

In the ER I think about the generic views of black speckles
On white ceiling tiles with their beeping machine soundtracks
The set of 90,000 lonely national deaths
While the same Christian patriots who are mad at masks
Don’t care about the dead Americans, my heart condition, or me

Now every asthmatic cough
Is laced with “am I dying?”
Every heart palpitation is cut with
“does this make me worth less than an economy?”
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Yoko Hill

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