After COVID Is Over

I’ll go to the library more. I miss
the smell of paper, print, dust,
and mouldering paste assembled

by careful and caring fingers or
indifferent machines to preserve
conversations of the ages.

I’ll go out to eat less than I used to,
but I’ll enjoy it more—carefully read
the menu, ask the wait staff details

about what spices were used, whether
the chef prefers butter or margarine,
that sort of thing. Mostly, though,

I’ll look across the table at friends
we invited to eat with us. We’ll
laugh at their jokes and fuss over

their insights into literature, politics,
movies, or how to properly care
for the orchids we bought at grocery stores.

We will open our mouths wide to savor
each morsel of food and opinion and
not fear the spread of anything beyond
ideas, succulent delights, and good cheer.

Charlie Brice