“Pandemic” © Alexander Limarev



Stepping out – a burrowing rodent:
I feel lost
as markers on work route appear too soon:
turns, inter-changes, traffic lights, bus stops
blindsiding the mental clock
set by years of work-day snarl-ups.
I keep my windows down to re-connect
but all humanity is masked
imprisoning features for
viral crimes they’re innocent of
with the outdoors one unbounded operating theatre.
My only welcome song is
chanted from spring blossoms
that unfurled while we were folded
now setting fire to the skyline.
Stopping for the mandatory gun salute
with the weapon trained on my forehead
and the umpteenth handwash
with no food to follow,
ingress is gained
as all my office furniture gossip:
Here comes absentee bum-bum again
here to displace the authentic dusty tenant.
I settle in nonetheless
and from across the opposite wall
April stares at me in (dis)May
thirty vacuous, square cells
each an unlived furlough; sleep-walked ellipses
landmarks by-passed en route confinement
and now calling from the rear-view mirror
with forlorn cries for a (re)visit.
I stand and stride to flip the calendar
and squelch its indictment
wondering at what went down
and what survived
and what survived but went down
and what went down but survived.


Mike Ekunno goes after sensory beauty to relieve a difficult world. He is published in over a couple dozen journals including: The Blue Nib, Written Tales, Bridge Eight, The First Line, Crack the Spine, Nzuri Journal, The Hamilton Stone Review, Gambling the Aisle, Warscapes, bioStories, Thrice Fiction Magazine, Rigorous, Bullet Pen and Storymoja, the last two coming with wins in continental contests. Mike is a freelance book editor and ghost biographer. His debut children’s book, Cowboy Lamido, was released by Hapicom Publishers.

Alexander Limarev is a freelance artist, mail art artist, curator, poet and photographer from Siberia/Russia. He has participated in more than 800 international projects and exhibitions. His artworks are part of private and museum collections of 63 countries. His artwork and poetry have been featured in various online publications including Killer Whale Journal, TreeHouse Arts, Backchannel and elsewhere.