Safe Introversion


When she coughed on me
I remained calm and measured.
I said my goodbye

through tightly pressed lips.
The mask could cover my frown
but not the horror.

I could feel her breath
damp and possibly germy
attach to my skin.

At home, I used bleach
ammonia and pure vodka
to ward off disease.

And it worked, too well.
The ambulance came for me.
"What were you thinking?"

they asked, on repeat.
I could not answer, lips sealed
in gauze and ointment.

on steroids. I’d gone too far
to kill the virus.

I had to admit
as the nurse admitted me...
this was my own fault.

When I am released
I’ll not leave my house again.
Safe introversion.