COVID Distancing for Couples

Love in the Time of Covid

He enters the house
through a back door
whose doorknob is his
alone, one she never uses.

Without touching her
photograph, their furniture,
he strips to bare skin,
mask and clothing abandoned.

She hears the shower, drops
what she is doing for sanity,
imagines his familiar body
wet and warm and exposed.

Tears come without warning;
she wipes them away then washes
her hands, again. Underwater, exhausted,
he scrubs and shudders without her.

Each wanting the other
to feel only love, only hope,
when he steps from the bedroom door,
it is all they can do not to embrace.

Instead, they hold their gaze,
swallow hard, keep their distance,
and tell themselves and each other
that at least they are not alone.

 by Anne McCrady

NEWSLINKS: NBC News, Wired, Slate, CNN