Une journée aux course
♥ ♠ ♦ ♣
My first time grocery shopping
without a mask after people
started believing that seeing a smile
would kill them, nothing happened.
I thought I would get thrown out
of the store. Arrested, maybe.
At least spit at like a leper.
I celebrated weighing lemons
in my hand to assess their juiciness,
being able to smell the fresh dill,
the whoosh of the mini avalanche
of cashews from the bin
in the finally-reopened bulk section
with a picnic after a stroll along the spine
of the bay hemming in my city.
I spread out my feast on the pullover I brought
but didn’t need. God bless the heat of the sun,
the salt clinging to my throat as I breathed full and long.
How far into distance I could see.
The border between the Pacific
and the dusk in the sky was bone white.
The things I now miss about the world
I used to criticize to the bone
started wafting through me then,
faded since they were never to return
unless I could somehow hold them
gingerly enough to revive and not break them.
How were these things—contradancing,
potlucks, health-information privacy—
already so frail in my mind?
Like they were artifacts of childhood?
But artifacts of childhood are things
like boy bands and playing outside
with the neighbor kids until
the streetlights spotlighted
the game of tag or the bike race
in dull, evenly spaced white.
Things like homework. Broken bones.
Not hugs and moments without dread.
I redirect my resentment from
the fact that I now long for a life
I did not think was enough Before
to where it belongs: the pall of fear
that’s exacting everything. I lean against
the shockwhite driftwood, shake cashews like dice.
I still want More like nothing’s changed forever.
But at this point, send me the bones.
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