When the Virus Hit

by Rachel Decesario



When the virus hit she was already self-quarantined

dabbing Purell under the tip of her nose
   holding staring contests with clouds
   through a grime-streaked window 


What happens when tomorrow comes ahead of schedule

as a child’s fear of asteroids colliding overhead
   fireworks in the sky like the sparkler in the hand
   sparks crawling toward white knuckles gripped beneath a sulfur moon


All my life it seems I’ve been trying to get into heaven

writing my deeds down in his ledger, he greets me at the gate
   Peter with the keys

   Paul with the sword


When Hurricane Maria hit I messaged my cousins in old San Juan

are you okay are you okay?

   When the virus hit I messaged my cousins in Rome
   are you are you okay siete bene, tutti bene?


When she croons with her pearls, it tends to sound the same

Like marrowbone, it’s a porous thing

   I think of things I could have done
   I colored inside the lines

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Staten Island Zine Fest

Thank you to all the exhibitors, performers, and attendees who made SIZL's inaugural zine fest (9.15.19) so wonderful! 🍳

The Staten Island Zine League (SIZL) is a collaboration between artist Maggie Buford, MakerSpace NYC, and NYSAI Press to present regular zine workshops for local artists, writers, poets, and budding creatives in preparation for the zine fest SIZL.

Workshops will be facilitated by rotating local Staten Island artists to help attendees learn about creating their first zines, designing layouts, and more. Prompts will be provided to workshop attendees so they can contribute. These zines will be compiled and then published to be sold at SIZL's inaugural zine fest—a day for zines, comics, readings, small press, and more where locals can buy, sell, and trade ephemera.

Presented by the Staten Island Zine League and NYSAI Press with funding from Staten Island Arts.

Zine-Making Workshops

SIZL's workshops will return leading up to the next zine fest!

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site created by Rachel Lyngholm

For all inquiries, please contact nysaimag@gmail.com

Life*vest*'s  poetry slam is held every 3rd Friday of the month at:


Richmond Hood Company

827 Castleton Avenue 

Staten Island, NY 10301



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NYSAI Press publishes Staten Island based literary journals  and books featuring artists and writers with distinct voices from all over the world.

We are city, we are suburbia; we are deformed, we are beautiful; we are America, and we are forever cut from the mainland. We are NYSAI Press and pledge to present it all, break it down, fuck it up, and move it forward.

Photography courtesy of Jenna Snyder