Logo, MacQueen's Quinterly
Listed at Duotrope
MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 9: August 2021
Poem: 157 words
By Marianne Szlyk

Respite in the City of Fog

Wearing a mask on the spring Saturday 
when everything’s opening up again, 
he wanders through the park he calls nameless. 

He knows some would ask the old men who stare 
from windows and porches. Some would Google. 
He could ask the leaves but prefers not to. 

Elsewhere maskless people parade up and 
down streets past restaurants and stores they once 
frequented, once worked in, once aspired to. 

But today is a day of respite. Sea-
green fog reaches for sunlight that will push 
it away soon. Thick, olive leaves promise 

scented shade for when the sun becomes strong. 
Red roses flicker. Young butterflies bless 
leaves, twigs, grass, empty Red Bull cans, and 

the artist who imagines she wanders 
through an old painting she once glimpsed in school, 
through the painting she will begin soon. 



—After Hung-Ju Kan, Density Versus Emptiness-20-9 (2021) and Density Versus Emptiness-20-8 (2020) *

*Publisher’s Note:

These acrylic and mixed-media paintings by Hung-Ju Kan (born 1993 in Taiwan) may be viewed at his website:

(Link was retrieved on 22 July 2021.)

Marianne Szlyk’s
Issue 9, August 2021

most recent books are Poetry en Plein Air (Pony One Dog Press, 2020) and On the Other Side of the Window (Pski’s Porch, 2019). Her poems have appeared in Verse-Virtual, Red Eft Poetry Review, Trouvaille Review, and Sheila-na-gig, among others. Some of her poems have been translated into Polish, Italian, and Cherokee. Other poems are forthcoming in The Sligo Journal and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She lives in the DC area with the wry poet and flash fiction writer Ethan Goffman and their cat.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Ekphrasis: Moving Beyond One’s Self in Poetry by Marianne Szlyk in Long Exposure (29 September 2018), Word & Image Series

Copyright © 2019-2024 by MacQueen’s Quinterly and by those whose works appear here.
Logo and website designed and built by Clare MacQueen; copyrighted © 2019-2024.
⚡   Please report broken links to: MacQuinterly [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡

At MacQ, we take your privacy seriously. We do not collect, sell, rent, or exchange your name and email address, or any other information about you, to third parties for marketing purposes. When you contact us, we will use your name and email address only in order to respond to your questions, comments, etc.