I have been talking with myself
more, lately.
I had occasionally offered
a necessary reminder, such as
“That was really stupid!”–
but no extended dialogues.

And needless to say,
I have often talked at objects–
open dishwashers that try to trip me,
pebbles and goatheads in my shoes,
low-hanging branches,
blankets and sheets that refuse
to stay tucked in,
milk gone sour
before the date on the bottle.

The situation is different now.
COVID has wounded society:
few people to talk to face to face
(though I have had
nothing profound to say);
almost nowhere to go;
and little to do if you get there.
But too much solitude and silence
will suffocate you, steal your voice.

So if you see me in the produce aisle
talking to myself,
or negotiating with a few lemons
that may want to come home with me,
please don’t assume I’ve lost it.
Give me the benefit of the doubt;
come closer; make a comment
or ask a question,
and find out for yourself.

Perhaps we can get a conversation going,
exercise our rusty pipes,
go for coffee,
call each other “Friend.”