Can’t Tell You Much

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In the frozen aisle’s uniform glare
a tall boy stares. Not through the glass
doors at tubs of ice cream or the stacked
pizzas in cardboard. Through the air
ahead, toward the checkout registers,

but I’m sure it’s nothing there, not the movie
magazines, racks of chocolate bars, dyed
carnation bouquets. I’d say he looks
amazed by a scene in the near future.

Come to a standstill as if he means
to keep what distance he can between
himself and his premonition, he’s focused

not dazed. Oh, maybe he’s stopped
his medication, or has he just
solved the geometry problem the beautiful
Miss Bulgari gave everyone yesterday,

or has he abruptly recalled
his stepfather’s final curse before
slamming the front door forever…. I dawdle,

couple yards off, convincing myself
some boxed organic broccoli florets
might ride away in my basket. I catch
the kid’s waxen face. He’s too transfixed

to notice my sidelong glances. I can’t shake
the sense his vision is actual. I drive
home, eyes on the rainy road, his eyes

suspended before me, not swept aside
by the windshield wiper, not dispersed
by the passing headlights, and not later
dismissed by talk and kisses and dinner.

It persists in the present. He in his
untucked what is it green or blue shirt,
hair in a muss, I can’t tell you
much, but his stare’s fixed in my night
on what, a fireball, a fresh crater—

Jed Myers is the author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award) and The Marriage of Space and Time (Moonpath Press, forthcoming). He is the recent winner of The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Prize and The Tishman Review’s Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize.
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