Dick Dale Cures The ‘Rona

Originally published in The Rye Whiskey Review – online poetry ‘zine
Appeared in the 2020 anthology Thought for Food from South Broadway Press

FOR JASON VIVONE
Let’s just say you had a meltdown in the grocery store
because your hands are so dry from washing and sanitizing
that you can’t open the plastic produce bags
and your glasses are fogging up from your own breath

escaping through the top of your quickly fashioned 
quarantine mask constructed from cut out swaths
of an old trade-show t-shirt and elastic hair ties
and there’s no toilet paper on the shelves

and they’re out of the brand of toothpaste
that has kept you cavity-free since college 
which, now, was more than thirty goddamned
years ago. Let’s say you had that meltdown.

Let’s say it’s late afternoon on a Thursday
and even though you should be working from home
this trip to the grocery store is the closest thing you’ve had
to a vacation all fucking year and there’s no real work anyway

and after parking the car, sanitizing the groceries, 
putting the groceries away, and realizing that your 
very public and, now, embarrassing meltdown
is going to eat at you for weeks, for months (let’s be real, years),

you turn on the radio and your guitar teacher
who is also a part-time DJ on a local listener-supported station
starts playing Miserlou and, later, Pipeline by Dick Dale
and the magic of Fender spring reverb tanks and single-coil pickups

cures the corona virus blues.

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