taking it step by step, remembering
how far it is into june for the third
year in a row. what is it about this
gathering of heat, this
headwaters of summer? my left hand
freezes against a gallon of milk, my right
holds the bottle of unbagged just-in-case surgery medicine
so that between the receipt and my body,
no one thinks i’m stealing drugs.
i really need to switch hands. i laugh
at the pure awkwardness: in the hottest week yet
my bones are chilled painful and i’m carrying
the two randomest things i could have thought of
and i never thought to get a cart.
i must be a poet or something
to find myself in all the situations like this, like how the other day
i threw out my recruitment letter from a pyramid scheme, or how
i needed something to write about and then somewhere,
wood turned to wildfire and its smoke shaded the sun away
while i looked through the store windows
trying to differentiate between tinted glass
and particles of once-tree in the sky.
something about june, about flame,
about two years ago i burned myself on a pot of rice
& that june something ignited inside of me
& the next june i followed it to enlightenment
& now i step outside with a plastic grocery bag,
wondering, remembering, ash hanging on the wind.