Quarantine Highway
by Millicent Borges Accardi
70 Poems ~ 93 pages
Price: $16.00
Format: 6’’ x 9’’ ~ Perfect Bound
Cover Art by Ralph Almeida
Publisher: Flower Song Press
ISBN: 978-1-953447-35-7
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Quarantine Highway, published by FlowerSong Press, with cover art by Ralph Almeida, reflects on the early and mid-stages of the Covid-19 Pandemic. These poignant and superbly crafted poems reprise the shared struggles of solitude, confinement, justice, isolation and, ultimately, self-reckoning, summoned forth during this period. The poems push and pull between the constantly knocking global news cycle to the stillness of a surreal inner world.


Amid a global pandemic, the ceaseless wildfires of California, a political landscape of turmoil, Millicent Borges Accardi offers us a powerful collection of self-reckoning. In Quarantine Highway–Accardi’s fifth collection–the poems utilize repetition to both ruminate on and interrogate self and society, questioning the meaning and purpose of what we most often take for granted: the euphoria of memory, a trip to the Dollar Store, the intimacy of another’s touch, and the illusion of safety in what has proved to be an unsafe world where “death is sudden, cold or both.” What this collection offers is all that we can ask for, pray for, beg for, or demand, a praxis of survival perhaps ending, hard-won secret of search for who [we are].”
–Ángel García, author of Teeth Never Sleep

In Quarantine Highway, Millicent Borges Accardi guides us through the contemplative instances we explore in the loneliest parts of the pandemic with moving imagery and reminders of how to cope and recreate ourselves. In these poems, we reflect on healing, grieve on a lost year, dream of wildfires, and “tooth it out” beyond our anxieties of being undone. We pray to the “temple of our tragedy” and dance along with small moments of liberation. Like breaking bread and memorizing trees, Accardi’s poems step past comets that blast loneliness and cracks in the sidewalk from our childhood to help us rediscover all the connections we’ve missed.
–Juan J. Morales, author of The Handyman’s Guide to End Times


Millicent Borges Accardi, an NEA fellow, is a Portuguese-American writer. She has three poetry collections. Among her awards are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, CantoMundo, Fulbright, Foundation for Contemporary Arts NYC (Covid grant), Creative Capacity, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.” She lives in the hippie-arts community of Topanga, CA where she curates Kale Soup for the Soul and co-curates Loose Lips poetry readings.


Decorate Fear

by Millicent Borges Accardi

Decorate fear, desperate
for slow sliding down a hill
as if we are
turning up our lips in
a strained, extended snarl.

Decorate fear, desperate
fear, we think

all day of dancing
the Vira de Roda, faster,
front-to-front without holding hands.

The steps weighing us down
Like from the sap
from trees, sticky and often
we touch air, not hands
and step into the circle of
each other,

far away from who we are
Now. What we are named.
How the world is.

Faster and faster,
front-to-front without holding hands.


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