When we walk, the world unfurls in pinks,
greens, and blues. You and I and sky
far from the gray of your apartment,
the glare of the screen. Bad news
turns to birdsong once we’re outside.
I feel sun near my throat when I throw
my head in laughter. Relief and delight
shine in your eyes. We hold hands.
Rainbows and stick-figures transform
sidewalk into canvas. The art gives me hope.
We pass a row of honeysuckles,
and you start to sneeze. I squeeze your hand,
and you lead us down a street we’ve never
walked before. It’s a haven of dogwoods,
trees that remind me of childhood and Easter.
You sneeze again. My stomach growls,
and our shadows look longer now.
Sunset melts the thick white of clouds
into golden wisps. On every walk,
your shoulders droop when the end
becomes inevitable. Dread gathers
beneath your brow, and fear of the feverish world
flashes near my heart. During the return home,
we talk logistics—your virtual meeting Tuesday,
I’m out of paper towels.
Back inside, the AC buzzes.
We check our phones, I shower,
you read. I go to bed early
and try to pray but my mind spins back to
last night’s dream: alligators chasing me
as I run through the woods.
With eyes closed, I sense
a vertical line of light expanding
as you open the door.
You lie down beside me,
and it’s us in this darkness.
We hold hands.
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