Macy’s, 2007

after Ross Gay

Because rent is two weeks late for the third straight month
since May, because she is 43 and the bar down the block
he promised to return from last spring has been shut down
for months, because she looks like my mother
and all she wants is for someone to say her name
in that certain way, because new heels are not a luxury
when the manager’s attention needs keeping
(and the refrigerator needs filling), because I know
the kind of sludge that this wet city air can make
of a person’s brain in the summer – how heat
can be a convenient enough excuse for anything
and everything – I don’t even glance in her direction
when she swings a round of sharp bullet backhands
into the ear of her youngest son in the shoe aisle.
He falls to the rough carpet in tears, bangs his head
like a racket ball against the metal shoe-sizer on the floor,
whimpers in a heap like a kicked dog. I don’t even glance
in their direction. I need some new shoes, too

About the author

Adam Falkner is a poet, musician, high school English/Creative Writing teacher and former Michael Jackson dance-off champion – although he will probably deny the…

Read the full bio

Issue 10 · September 2010

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