Originally published in Blood Orange Review

At the store, I tell the salesperson
I need something black,

something plain.

This clerk
hates his job, hates me, hates my money—
hates that you died and brought me here,

hates my blank expression onto which
any person’s misery could be hung.

“Somebody died,” I say. My voice,
raw, makes a sharp croak. I can’t finish with words.

He touches my hand. He has
eyes that go all the way in.

“I know,” he says,
and counts back my change.

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