Normally, we would stop
to talk, but we know
your slipstream is the plague
my laughter and a cough
are the same
And so, like Superman we squeeze
          How are you? How’s your family?
          and all the awful details
          of the past few months
          that it would take to answer
like coal in our fists

until we must inhale
open our fingers
pluck from our palms
the one thing left  

You raise your hand to offer
and I wave
to accept and offer back