Supermarket • Shannon Cuthbert

I stroll the aisles, listless as lettuce and king crabs.
When I was king of Spain, I built marble sandcastles
and danced with duchesses,
ferris wheels in their gowns.
Ship lights poked through the curtains at night,
like tusks of ivory beasts slain in India
by some dashing maharajah.

Fluorescent lights above me, ghostly chicken carcasses
and graveyards of flesh around me,
a haddock’s toothless grin.

Today a girl in a bus window smiled,
bone structure so regal I was
surprised to find her toothless.
Does she run her tongue over the empty spaces,
a phantom limb?
Nightmares of
celery unsnapped, carrots uncrunched, she wakes alone.
I imagine one gray kiss at the bus stop,
my tongue draws back
at the stories these empty spaces tell.


Shannon is a creative writing and psychology major from Hamilton College.