Lost in Target

I go from one aisle
to the next
like a drifter

in the makeup section,
in the mirror
at my sweaty pores

In ladies shoes,
I imagine what it would be like
to wear a pair of those
alligator heels

“Oh, there she is!” I cry
Nope, it’s just a manikin
who looks like her
from behind

I buy an Americana
from Starbucks
and take a bite
from a warm croissant

I stare crosseyed
at the big red ball
in front of the store,
and imagine it on my shoulders
like Atlas, the Titan,
holding it there for all eternity

As my knees buckle
with triumph,
my wife returns
Her cart is overflowing
with paper towels, deodorant,
and Ziploc sandwich bags

I put down the red ball,
taking a moment to catch my breath,
then load the bags into the trunk,
feeling useful once more.

Mark Tulin is a recovering psychotherapist who lives in California. He has a Pushcart Prize nomination called “A Mountain Spirit” in Active Muse and authored Magical Yogis, Awkward Grace, The Asthmatic Kid and Other Stories, and Junkyard Souls. His website is https://www.crowonthewire.com. Twitter: @Crow_writer.


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