Monday, December 2, 2019



The lady in front of me is crying plums
and peaches into her shopping cart. She’s been weeping
produce since I got in line. First peas,

tight rolling armies, some drop
into her gusting mouth. Now, three kumquats tumble
off each cheek, bananas drip

from the tip of her nose. Does anyone else see this?
When she sobs dark bumpy avocados
I hear myself sigh, oh.

Those were on my list,
but the bin was empty. I reach under her chin
and catch a pear. A Williams, chartreuse,

arched stem, nicer than the Bosc I chose. I bite.
Our eyes meet. Cry a ham, I whisper.
She does. Cry a marble bundt cake. Still warm,

I ease it into my cart. Cry a wheel of Gouda.
I ask for 60 watt soft white light bulbs. They bloom
from her swollen eyelids. Just to see

if she can stand it, I order two Brazilian
pineapples. No one notices—not the cashier,
the other customers or the lanky stock boy

in a blue apron, mopping.


Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer and long distance walker. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, The American Journal of Poetry, Bellevue Literary Review, Cimarron Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, Rattle, River Styx, Spillway, Sugar House Review, The Sun, Verse Daily, and The Poetry Foundation’s American Life in Poetry. His poetry has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and the Best of the Net.


We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.

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