Must Have a Thing for Produce Guys

It all started when they built a new Hannaford in Gilford.

My sister and I drove there to buy beer

for our summer fires in the backyard.

We never remembered where they sold the beer,

and anyways, the produce shows up

first when you walk in the door,

so there’d be the guy lifting crates of apples,

and bananas shipped in

from faraway places

no one in the town had ever seen

beyond photos in our library series

that dated from the 1970s.

His forearms were to die for.

If it’d worked out between us,

I’d have never left town.

 

Then, there was the Target guy

buying food for the city of Minneapolis.

The store was right at the edge of the city between

the hipsters and the black neighborhood,

where one time after we became friends,

we passed each other in the parking lot,

me hauling lumber from Home Depot

in a big ass white truck,

and him wearing shades,

turning his silver commuter,

into the lot, dial turned to NPR.

All his shirts were collared cherry,

and neither of us could tell the difference

between a Monday shirt or a Saturday

night late shift.

 

Most recently, there’s the singer in a local band.

At a break in the set he hands me a card

with his cell number written on the back.

I’m having a party and I want

to fill up my house with sound this Saturday,

I feel like this band is the perfect one

for my living room.

I spend this morning

baking muffins with red sprinkles,

and berries inside

I turn over the card on the counter.

His name: Produce Manager.

 

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I Will Always Answer

***For my sister who’s driving home to New Hampshire tonight.

 

I will always answer

a late night phone call

from you because your words

are dripping with nothing,

love and even when I’m whispering

into the phone with my eyes closed

sitting on the carpet

back leaning into the bed frame,

the wind’s blowing through my window,

quiet, low brushing my hair at my bare shoulders

and you say that talking

on the phone makes you sad

because it means we’re

running long distance with words;

these are marathons of hope and

symphonies of voices

we imagine are attached to a real body

at the other end of the line.

Distance is blue flecked with copper glitter,

breath-taking, really

but it will never be

simple as together:

heads nested on pillows

hair rippled, mixing strands,

mouths singing about nothing.

sister

Biking: Bridge # 4

2016-03-14 21.10.28 HDR-2
**inspired by Cometbus’ poem of ‘3 bridges’ in his book The Last Supper

Biking beside the Mississippi

on pavement

now dirt

now potholes

I stop at the joint

of two railroad tracks meeting

in the train yard next to some factory.

 

I could be a real punk

skulking around the city

at night alone,

except I’m a lady

and I’m wearing North Face gear.

 

A glowing blue bridge

spurs up above me sprouting

a highway of cars,

bleeding traffic noise

into the dripping air.

 

I don’t know how I got here

except that my bike’s headlight

has recently lost her charge.