Photography © Edward S. Gault

 

low hanging mask fruit

I was putting out tins
when he passed,
his mask hanging around his chin.

excuse me sir, I stopped him.
can you put your mask over
your mouth and nose please?

why? he said.

well, why wear it on your chin? I asked him.
you protecting your goatee?

his face –
that clearly visible face of his –
it twitched.

he couldn’t think of a witty response,
so he just told me to fuck off
but then he carried on walking down
the tins and condiments aisle
with a swagger
that suggested
he had indeed verbally bested me

and when I tested positive
the following week

I had to suppose
he had.

 

Paul Tanner: “I got long covid, moved jobs and flat … last few years are a blur, mates. Aren’t they all, though?”

Edward S. Gault is a poet and fine art photographer. He lives at Mosaic Commons, a co-housing community in Berlin, Massachusetts.