May 142011

by Kurt Shinian

I’ve spotted this boy in the frozen section of the supermarket,

His hood makes his shifty eyes

All the more conspicuous –

They are darting without breath

Like a forest prowler

Through the trees

Of broccoli cuts, sorbets, and shrimp poppers.

He’s probably about thirteen –

Bad teeth with that awkward


Lost to adolescence –

And there it goes –

He steals

His thumb into his mouth.

There’s a nameless joy in his smile,

A long awaited breath that

Leans into the slow moving cart –

It’s everything,

That thumb.

As his mother returns,

He can’t still himself –

His thumb goes into the front pocket of his hoody –

And I see him there,

A son already occupying office space,

Typing rhythmically

The story of tomorrow’s expenses,

Sucking the face of death,

Punching in ten hour days,

Sectioned and freezing.