Pain Diary #4

on keeping your hands to yourself

Don’t shake hands during
an epidemic, we are told,
and I am begging you
not to ever shake my hand.

Like so many things
forced with the best
of intentions on those
who cannot say no,
handshakes nearly always hurt.

I need a good dose
of oxytocin, the hug hormone,
as much as anyone,
but I’m going to have to
ask you to be mindful
of my shoulders as well.

I love you,
but keep your distance.
There’s an epidemic.
I’m immune-suppressed
and highly sensitive.
You just don’t know
how dangerous you are.

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