SHELTER-IN-PLACE HOOKUP PANTOUM

  
   
When the directive hits to prevent corona’s spread
he suggests a video chat @FB or Skype for their first “date.”
He lauds The Waves, #flattenthecurve, and Bernie to get her in bed
unaware that she, fast and loose, would not have made him wait.

He suggests a video chat @FB or Skype for their first “date”
thinking his shelter-in-place seduction surer than any apocalypse
unaware that she, fast and loose, would not have made him wait;
he chases his prey so he thinks, but she’s already got him gripped.

Thinking his shelter-in-place seduction surer than any apocalypse
he forgets that being free she was meant to roam.
He chases his prey so he thinks, but she’s already got him gripped —
Only a pandemic could ever keep her home.

He forgets that being free she was meant to roam.
She recalls the old lesson on waiting and commitment.
Only a pandemic could ever keep her home,
though she suspects at times she wasn’t so indifferent.

She recalls the old lesson on waiting and commitment.
But could devotion for mutual deception ever atone?
Though she suspects at times she wasn’t so indifferent
her mastery is at last challenged on the art of being alone.

But could devotion for mutual deception ever atone?
He lauds The Waves, #flattenthecurve, and Bernie to get her in bed.
Her mastery is at last challenged on the art of being alone
when the directive hits to prevent corona’s spread.

ABIGAIL LICAD is a 1.5-generation Filipino American who immigrated to the U.S. with her family at age 13. She received her B.A. from University of California-Berkeley and her M.Phil in literature from Oxford University. Her work has been published in Calyx, Smartish Pace, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times, among others. She has served as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar to Senegal and as Hyphen magazine’s Editor-in-Chief. She lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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