Marina Walks In

The automatic sliding doors give a loud smack,

Like the sound of a glass jar splintering as it meets hardwood,

And Marina jumps,

Clutching her handbag to her restarting heart.

As she stares down at the worn floor,

Trying to catch her breath,

The orange of the linoleum

And the orange of mushy carrots

Blend together into a haze of exhaustion as consuming as black.

The harsh fluorescent lights of the supermarket

Belie the early morning darkness outside.

Her skeletal hands are numb as she grips

The cold blue plastic of the grocery cart.

The jarring neon colors of the store,

Like those of an amusement park plastered against the night sky,

Give Marina such an aching migraine

She feels she might die.

As she reaches for another glass jar

Filled with carrots the color of linoleum

Her lifeless hands nearly fumble her precious cargo.

She tries to catch her breath as she leans on the cart,

Her eyes succumbing to the inescapable pull of endless sleep,

When the harsh cry of her phone

Jolts her awake.

Oh, well.

She can sleep when she’s dead.


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