Align

Align

Try my luck
No.
Run.
I could do just a little
No.
Run.
Heart begs please
Head screams leave
How can a person
possibly be one person—
with the begging and the screaming?
God, why?!
Like a piece of paper torn in half,
I am piecing the two together
Now is the time for you
to finally align


Z

Aisle 11

Aisle 11

Glass shatters
A child shouts, OOPS
No-one else around to do it
I must go assess the mess
Inhale.
Lucky me!

A boy and his mother
and a jar of tomato sauce—
splattered across Aisle 11

Exhale.
How can I be mad
at this adorable child?
It was only an accident!
You can tell by his face

In fact, I remember a time
when I was a little boy
and I broke a jar of sauce
I thought I would never recover
until I looked up at and saw
my Grandmother—
she and I were shopping
together—
Her eyes were wide open
But she smiled

Alone in his mess.
Alone in my mess.
A mother smiles.
A grandmother smiled.

Shaking my head—
I smile—
We both live on Isle 11
Not strangers.
Repdigit.


11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11
-Z






Aisle 10



Aisle 10

Down Aisle 10 she heads

Never had she any issue
being pulled toward the
heart’s worst enemy

She looks over to the right: 
The Imposter is on the cover!
Of course shining in front
of all the magazines

What an inspiration!
Such a lady to adore!
She really is a warrior!
No disaster could swallow her!

Until Truth revealed  
the cracks
Tragically—
it was all a show 


Our girl exhales 
and leaves The Face behind

Neither the first time—
Nor the last time—
she would face the loss
of her inspiration


Pushing her cart 
without a hero
she goes back
again

to Isle 10


-Z

 

Aisle 4



Aisle 4

Something very naughty is
happening amongst the sweets
Check out the shady lady, searching
for a special secret down Aisle 4

A container of chocolate chip cookies
is hidden, stealthily beneath the sheets
Paper plates, light bulbs, and everything
is only there, so nobody will see

The husband is a diabetic
But, she will always love her sugar!
She puts away the groceries and
locks herself behind a door
The pantry is her portal
to heaven on Isle 4


-Z

 

 

Aisle 9



Aisle 9

Tugs away at wiry black hairs
underneath his jaw—clenched tight

Lifts his head up, uncomfortably
Thank God I know a thing or two about cards!
He chose a hilarious birthday card just fine
But, our bearded buddy isn’t so sure to win—
when choosing wines down Aisle 9

I think I’ve had that Montepulciano!
Probably best to grab a Rosé.
Don’t all girls love pink wines?
I wish I could just bring beer.

*By the way, the host is a sommelier.


Today, he refuses to play the game
and risk offending a dear friend

The bag he carries is a half-glass
He lays down his safe card
on a complicated table 
The House wins again
on Isle 9

-Z








 

Aisle 8

Aisle 8 

Look—everything was perfectly fine
until the frickin’ DJ of Aisle 8 decides
the bottles of olive oil and vinegar,
stacks of tuna fish and whatever
weren’t put up exactly the way he does
Do you know he calls us Whippersnappers?

He’s always sucking his teeth and complaining
Not that song again!
The store never plays one single song 
he isn’t dying to turn down
That’s why I call him The DJ

You tell him I said “Thanks a lot”
His DJ days are over!
It’s about time he retires 
and buys a sweet place
on Isle 8


-Z

Aisle 2



Aisle 2

Not a 10.
Not a 1.
Not the smartest.
What would they say?

I see her trying to figure out
which bottle is the perfect one
out of all the diet pills we offer
on the shelves of Aisle 2

She’s probably in 8th grade
and willing to do
whatever she thinks girls do
who don’t live

on Isle 2

Z

 

Aisle 1



Aisle 1 

A man picked up a bottle
It was just the two of us
there on Aisle 1
He examined the label
I was working only a few feet away
stocking razors on a shelf
Go fucking figure!
I heard him clear as day
I stopped what I was doing
He looked over my way
and he said
Now! you people decide
to carry this shit!
SPF…whatever the fuck
Then we locked eyes
and he said to me,
If a woman ever tells you
to go back for this bottle 
of freakin’ dumbass sunscreen
and you already had
everything else planned,
packed, and ready
back at home—
Go on that trip alone

Lay your ass out in the sun 
without this damn lotion
Get yourself burned!
…with no wife…
I put down the box of blades
to give him his space 
He clearly needed a moment
with a bottle of SPF 30 sunscreen
on Isle 1


-Z

Aisle 3



Aisle 3

Her arm is long and kissing
and she’s gliding down Aisle 3
Eyes widening—as if she’s meeting
a new friend in every piece

OMG! Did I really just see
a sleeve reach out and halt her?
Seriously, something strange
just happened—before my own eyes
to our beloved shopper

I see blushing
I see satisfaction 
I see spinning
I see blooming

Did a red jacket really choose a lady
in the shithole
where I work
on a Tuesday 
on Isle 3?


Z

 

Rained Out

Today was supposed to be a pool day. I have been determined to make it happen. But, the weather had other plans. I have not been swimming this year, but seem to be waiting for something. What if something never comes? Could I go the whole summer without swimming? I already know this is possible when it comes to going to the beach… don’t get me started. So, when the rain and lightning came this afternoon, I decided to write a little poem and stay inside—instead. Sounded nice and soothing out there, at least. Not giving up yet. I will swim!!



Some other summer

I hear it in your voice
It’s not the sound of 
the rain
that makes you shudder
Plans you wish you hadn’t made
are haunting you, now
They will never be 
in our past 
So, now, you mention weather
But, I know you—and what is true
We might as well start planning
for some other summer 
for me and you

-Z