I hear the lonesome wind come in
against the moored boats' bones
as I load the warm laundry into the van.

A dog tethers a woman across the street.
Her eyes dart to her door when she sees me -
hands plucking at the fabric mask she clutches.

I smile, but
the cloth on my own face
obscures the sentiment.

The space between us grows
from a road
to 3 times 6 feet
to the world.

A cough rises in my chest
rebellious and shameful
like a confederate flag
flying from the back of a pickup in your hometown.

My lungs spasm for relief as I slam the door against her judgment.
The only thing louder than my hacking
is that wind.

Still lonely.

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