“What are you reading?” she asked,
from behind an orange mask.
In the past, I would have smiled,
responded cordially about this book,
only this pandemic has changed me.
My intolerance has grown, like
an overdue tumor on the side of my neck.
The man who spread next to me
on the flight to Houston. He wore
flip-flops and pushed his way
into the middle seat. Near the aisle,
I grew smaller. His legs opened further.
“You asked for it,” they said.