Can’t be so:

inventory on night shift in a supermarket

where linoleum glows but does not click

in an empty aisle

of uncanny florescence


A wrong turn from canned vegetables

into boxes of facial tissue, paper towels,

aluminum foil, plastic wrap,

laundry soap, cleanser, funereal disinfectants,

abandonment, suspended time,

strong scent of chemicals in a row


Alone, fifteen again, stocking shelves

in this moment before afterlife


Another turn and the chatter of women with babies,

cans of chicken, tuna, juices, salad dressing,

old men with hearing aids saying “Howdy,”

to friends they haven’t seen in years


Sad, the faces of those whose only dirt

spills into throwaway diapers,

and damn them those eyes,

those Cherrios eyes