By Nick Creel

Now I walk through these woods

probably the final time

eyes to the ground the mud

the snow not yet melting

it was a mistake to skip lunch

before we met

possibly the final time (possibly not)

you had a hike in mind

of course I obliged I ached

for fresh air and blood flow and

I had to keep moving.

We spoke mostly about worries

punctuated each other’s sentences with

words– what could I say without

leaking concern and

souring our walk with my tears?

I think you saw the pools

wax and wane with moments of

silence like tide so you spun tales of

bread and dogs and Zoom memes;

I am grateful for your kindness and

grace but what I wished for the most was

something impossible:

cure all illness in an

incredibly ill time.


Nick Creel (they/them) is a nonbinary poet and web developer currently sheltering-in-place in Massachusetts. Their hypertext chapbook Evidence (self-published, 2020) is available at ncreel.itch.io/evidence. Their work is forthcoming and featured in Rejection Letters, Sludge, Petrichor, Déraciné Magazine, and Mineral Lit Mag, among others.

This piece is a part of DISTANCED 2.0.

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