As we attempt to glide past each other
in a supermarket meeting of the aisles,
we both pause to keep our distance,
a medically-designated six feet or more.
We dare not touch or breathe the same air.
I try to navigate to avoid anything close,
like a robot with vision sensors
seeing the people around me like objects,
pathogen-bearing, potentially lethal
carriers that must be avoided.
I used to gravitate to people, even willing
to hug, hold hands, or soften with a kiss,
but now I evade like the plague-ridden
malicious temptresses they are.
In the grocery store, we both hesitate,
our carts caught in the pathogen pause,
where any movement forward
can only be attempted if there’s a safe path.
We used to smile, but now we’re tense,
both trying to escape the creeping contagion.