Day 18 of 30


another day,
another walk,

this time more than a
mile, up through
eastern market
where white people
and me pretended
it was just another
day, and these masks,

bandana for me,
was just the season’s latest
surgery or handbag or filter.

are you open sir? then, why
are you open sir? well, don’t
answer that because i’d like
to order but first i need to

kill what might have made a
home on my hands.

and then up pennsylvania
past the post office,
left at the nation’s library,
down third through the
joggers and dog walkers
and tricyclists and
grandparents because
only grandparents live
around these parts.

stepped into the street like
wearing my grandmother’s
feet and this is about our
other virus, the one that
is our heartbeat, and palpitation.

then waited at the corner
at constitution.
a masked man held the
hand of a woman.
he nodded. i nodded back,
smiled behind my bandit
cloth. his cheeks lifted
his mask slightly above
his chin.

jason he called out.
paul, i replied,

affirmed that i could recognize
a friend just by looking in his eyes,
and happy he could recognize me
even with a matcha latte in hand.


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