In your deep sleep, you pushed away the mask so I held it above your face, certain the oxygen would save you. You would have hated the pandemic, but I miss the lockdown, the brisk walk home after dinner in my bubble, how I passed through my own breath in the chilling air, scarf bundled against weather and disease, pacing myself to arrive at curfew, reveling in the need to be somewhere, how I left the door unlocked for a few minutes, as if you were only running late, as if the six feet that separated us could be breached.

Mark Foss is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories. His words have also appeared in Hobart, Bending Genres, and elsewhere. He recently co-edited The Book of Judith (New Village Press, 2022), an homage to the life of poet, writer, and teaching artist Judith Tannenbaum and her impact on incarcerated and marginalized students. He writes from Montreal, but you can visit at www.markfoss.ca

You can see more of Mark's work in 10.2 and 10.3

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