Travel in the Time of Covid

by John Reoli

Beaches want for footprints.
Humans, if we still deserve
The name, are nothing more
Than curiosities to the scavenging
Crab whose caviar eyes see us

As newcomers, interlopers, tourists
At Evolution’s resort.

Who will win, sun or sunscreen?

It’s not all doom and doomsday
In this Caribbean paradise.
Sunlight, after all, is the best
Disinfectant. Isn’t it?

Unmasked breaths roll with the surf.
Invisible buoys mark invisible
Hazards between bodies diving
For shells, coming up for air.

The crab skitters from lapping
Waves that erase its footprints
Until hot dry sand records
The impermanence of its fleeing marks.

Wondering if the virus will be humanity’s
Natural end, I wade safely distanced
In the surf as the sea erodes sand
Beneath my feet.

John Reoli is a New York City based writer and actor. He is the author of the poetry collection Naked Prayers (Six Gallery Press, 2007). His poetry has also been published in The Oakland Review, Thieves Jargon and The Red River Review. His short fiction has appeared in the James White Review, Harrington Gay Mens Fiction Quarterly, The Front, Pittsburgh’s Out (1997 Short Fiction Contest Winner), Blithe House Quarterly and The Oakland Review. His most recent play, Just Stop! was selected for Sundog Theatre’s Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2021. Other dramatic works include A Room with a Futon in the 2015 Venus Adonis Festival and One Seat in the Shade which was presented in the FringeNYC2008. Jim Baron is the owner, with his wife Liz, of the Dallas-based Blue Mesa Grill restaurants and TNT/Tacos and Tequila. He’s been a surf bum all his life, with his late brother Bob and younger brother Dan. He spends a couple hours every day painting water colors, and happiness for him is being on the beach with Liz, Kate, Zak, Ian, and Lola, the labradoodle, who runs the show.