It’s mid-August, over five months into the pandemic, the month
we quoted back in March, during the first lockdown, saying,
if we take this seriously… if we do this right, by August we’ll be through
this. How hopeful we were, how naïve. I stand on the street
corner, waiting for the light to change. Stickers have been slapped
on: Do not touch button, signs will automatically change and so I wait,
hands in pockets, sunglasses steaming from my breath seeping
from beneath my mask. The afternoon sun is bright, the temps still
in the 90s so when I see the shirtless man moving toward me
I think only that he’s out for a run. Then I realize he’s dancing –
hips swiveling, arms swaying, and legs cantering to a beat
I cannot hear. He dances past me, a sort of salsa two-step,
hips sashaying and head tipped back as he stretches his arms
wide as if to capture the glorious August heat in his embrace.
Behind his mask I imagine a wide grin, one that rivals
the afternoon sun. It warms us both.
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press). She is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Riot in Your Throat, an independent poetry press.
Photo by Andre Hunter.