Love in the Time of Covid-19

for my husband, twenty-one years my senior

There are so many times
I could have killed you.

After twenty-eight years of marriage—
the only contact sport I’ve ever stuck wit—

I found myself

crying this morning,
after a trip outside,
singing Happy Birthday

three times through,

just to be sure,

scrubbing despite
the sting of my split skin

as I’ve loved you through
even the rub
of the raw years.

I held my hands steady
in the water’s reassuring scald,

trying and trying
to save you.

Francesca Bell

Bonjour Vietnam