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The Checkout Girls at Key Food – by Laurie Kuntz

Posted on Sep 1, 2017 by in October 2017 |

The Checkout Girls at Key Food
(Brooklyn Branch)

with their flat tattooed bellies,
seventeen-year-old skins and finger
and toe nails the color of radiated skies,
huddle over discrepancies in the price of plums,
when coupons promise me 38 cents off.

On computerized registers, pushing pound signs,
numbers beep like the heartbeats in which they leave
day after day shift, whisked to boyfriends in souped up red cars.

Brown bags in hand, I also think of a beating heart,
her rhythmic wrath– my mother’s days
spoil like plums bought at discount prices.

The checkout girls shrug at the price I finally pay,
still living with their mothers,
they go to arcades
dance under corrupt moons.

By next summer,
when I come home to all that is aging,
they’ll be gone, marrying those fast cars,
growing bellies round and full
as the stringy sweetness of plums,
grown from seeds of desire,
which discount all of our lives.

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