it’s a bit freaky in minneapolis

this fall and early winter

i’ve been riding my bike so much more

cuz it’s been so unseasonably warm

no snow, no temperatures as cold as they could be

but honestly, it’s difficult for me

riding my bike wearing a pandemic mask

my green cotton cloth bandana

from the 2019 minnesota state fair

which shows

in white logos

a local brewery “on a stick”

cuz my hot exhalations into mid 40F air

and the cold bandana tied tight

up against my face

means my nose runs everywhere

when i’m riding and breathing heavy

just yesterday i had to stop and pray

after riding for an hour

that in my messenger bag there was something

some kind of thing

some kind of napkin, some bit of paper

i could blow my nose into

cuz i had a waterfall going on behind my mask

so i stopped against the curb

out front of the movie theater on st. anthony main

un-clicked the buckle, swung it down from shoulder

and opened up my bag

then untied my wet bandana

two streams dripping off my lips

sure enough i was lucky

there were three dirty napkins

from some take out place

crumpled down at the bottom of my bag

so i blew out my nose and laughed to myself

snot management now in effect

gobs and gobs so heavy and warm filling up the napkin

but i could breathe again

and looking around i see no trash can

so fully sopped napkin goes right back into my bag

and onward i continued up to northeast

suddenly shaking my head when the absurdity hits me

i’ve suffered so little, been so lucky

have yet to lose anyone or anything

so why am i letting

this tiny inconvenience of the pandemic get to me

riding my bike on one more warm november day