DORIS IMAGINES A RELATIONSHIP IN THE GROCERY STORE
R. Nikolas Macioci
It is in her head to meet someone new.
In the Kroger produce department people
pause to pull plastic bags from spools.
Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale drip
with perpetual water. A lean man
in khaki cargo shorts and a green golf
shirt strolls up beside her, reaches for a
head of lettuce, smiles, says hi, and walks
away. She hangs back then follows him,
stays at the top of the cereal aisle
while he grabs Wheaties from a shelf. He
turns, sees her and smiles again. This time
she wanders past him to the other end
of the aisle and disappears around the corner.
She’s embarrassed by brazen boldness, stands
still as if examining ingredients of a potato
chip bag and asks herself what best can come
out of this situation? Her chest hurts
from being desperate, from showing too much
vulnerability. Did she veil her face
with nonchalance? Was her need visible?
He’s two lanes down from where she’s checking out.
She can see only his head over impulse items.