(after Thanksgiving by Aimee Nezhukumatathil)
I juggle a can of tomatoes,
three limes, and a bag of potatoes.
Ahead is he who holds
a block of cheddar and a bottle of wine.
Broad shoulders face forward,
below his clean-shaven neck
and soft brown curled hair
with just a hint of gray.
His voice, the timbre of a stringed bass,
greets the check-out girl with kindness.
“How is your day going?”
She looks up and smiles, “Ok.”
His strong hands, clean and manicured,
bag the cheese and wine, as he
continues the breezy conversation
with the grinning clerk.
His warm smile and sincere wish
for her to enjoy her evening
leaves me imagining a cozy fireside
of wine, cheese, and him.
I feast on his clean soap scent,
shaved and muscled neck,
and the gentle sound of his voice,
storing them for a long winter’s nap.
This affectionate (and harmless) act of voyeurism and fantasy is so common: everyone hopes to be surprised by life even in its most mundane moments. The checkout clerk smiles at first, then grins, so transformed is she by the unexpected appearance of this attractive and nice man. Well done!