By | 31 October 2021

Ibis are looking cleaner, snowier
when I go on my designated walks.
Less plump, more gloss (like they’ve bathed

in the very best hair conditioner.)
I don’t remember the last time
I showered. But I smell like exercise

and exercise is acceptable and jigsaws
are legal and groceries are constitutional.
If I get my groceries delivered, who else

do I put at risk? I join a mutual aid group,
cook food in bulk in my home, ladle serves
into name-labeled containers

and it smells like the preface to a potluck
in the park. (Bring a plate, bring a friend.)
I haven’t hugged my friends

in months. I’ve attended too many
Zoom funerals. (Don’t forget, turn video off
when you cry.) I want that damp smell

of early morning air, overturned soil,
brine of tears. I haven’t been misgendered
in months. The jolt of a pause before

a missing pronoun gasps me back
to the present like an echo.
I think I’ve been dis-

-associating. I think the glare around me
is too bright, as the person
with the dog tells us we’re both

‘good girls’. (I think I’m very tired.)
I just want that fabric softener smell
of home. I just want to go home.

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