Poetry | Grocery Shopping

By Grace McGinness, Staff Columnist

Enter the house where nature lies still.

Where it’s pinned to the platter

prepared to my order.

Ignore the soft smell of the flowers

from where they crowd around the door

stuffed in pots and hanging from wires.

Pulled up from their roots

slowly dying but their bursts of colors are so bright.

Stride straight for the stink of fish

My nose crinkles but my stomach growls.

Limp limbs dangle over a box’s edge

Pickled or drowned, dried or parched

Sliced or cut, wrapped or suffocated.

My mouth starts to water.

It’s bloody red and I can already smell it

cooking in my pan.

Dissected into a hundred parts.

Strung upside down

hooked through where its heart once sat

beating and warm.

I could buy that too.

My skin prickles with the cold

Ice piles high as tiny glaciers behind glass

Vacant eyes peer out from within those hills

Stacked on top one another

Hear the sizzle of frying oil without the stove.

Whirring machines slice a thousand cuts

for the people waiting in line.

The sound makes a rhythm over

the constant hum of coolers.

Impatient fingers tap at that cool glass.

Chop, chop, chop off just a bit more.

There’s only spit on my tongue

but the phantom

can taste just as good.