At the intercoastal waterway, we watch green reeds
samba in the wind, pods of neighbors frolic in
six-feet space, the wake of boats streaming by;
out for a walk in the pavement sunshine
I could, in our colorblock apartment recreation
spaces, visit the pet park—a blank greenery erasing
my worries—tennis court, playground, pond: museum to
normalcy. All it takes to slingshot my mind
across a million distances with the fuel of iterative worry is:
the idea we might occupy the same picnic table
as the virus. This scenic idyll lies—
they are killing you. They are killing the forest: listen.
That wafting smoke is your right to breathe. Not to barbecue as
we marathon. We outrun predictions. Days are no longer dates
but death tolls. Yesterday +1595. Days stretch
out, stunning our late-setting ambitious sun
into the torpor of a final Zoom call. We long to emerge.
Outside, in the clear air, an older couple unfurls
a boat from the docks, struggling with its white whale
weight. Reader, I add my voice as the cut of a nail on an unsteady
wooden pier, splinter jarring your hand as you struggle to launch,
the plunging resistance as your nose emerges from the water.
Maria S. Picone has an MFA from Goddard College. As a Korean adoptee in an Italian American family and a New Englander, her obsessions with noodles, seafood, and the ocean are hardly her fault. Her poetry and creative nonfiction appear in talking about strawberries all of the time, Mineral Lit Mag, Ariel Chart, and the Able Muse. Her Twitter is @mspicone, and her website is mariaspicone.com.