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POEM: A Supermarket In Pennsylvania

A Supermarket In Pennsylvania

I call this my supermarket period.
I’ve mostly been living
in grocery store cafes since April.
Over time you get to know the rhythms.
You recognize the regulars;
fellow drifters or room renters
or nomads or the unhoused.
I assume the workers know my face,
although I never speak to them
and they never speak to me.
I wonder what stories they might imagine
to explain those of us who are here
every day. Probably they don’t
invent a story at all, because
why would they?
We’re phantoms, passing through
the walls but somehow not
falling through the floors.
Eventually each of our
supermarket periods will end.
We’ll move on or find housing
or get arrested or die.
The hours and hours we’ve piled up
in these identical seats
will dissolve into the ether,
leaving the occasional ring
on a tabletop, soon wiped away.

/ / /

7 November 2022
State College PA

Published in My poems Poetry State College


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