Coronavirus XII

Come walk with me—-we’ll
not bump into each other
lest the virus spread.

People are walking
more on Narragansett where
they can see the ducks.

You can feel alone
outside the PTX Lounge
leaning against the

brick wall with the mer-
maid mural. The cocktail she
hands you is yourself.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at and other sites.

One thought on “Coronavirus XII”

  1. This reflection on distance, isolation, adn identity turns on the insight that the mermaid mural’s gift of a cocktail is yourself enablign you to feel alone. You can feel alone–both you may feel isolated and you are able to feel alone without the compulsion to fill stillness with noise. It is significant that the one giving us this gift is a demigod(dess)–she is perhaps a muse inspiring the poet not so much as so many warmed-over cliches of pop philosophy flooding social media as the mysterious soruce of creativity beyond our grasp– and that the gift is convivial (cokcktail). We are connected to ourselves and to each other and the whole of creation in celebration and passing the time and pasing away as passionate, suffering, mundane, and glorious.


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