a new post office

the lady at
the post office
asked if i had
a printer
i could use
to print out
the address
labels since
my handwriting
is so atrocious

she was more
polite about it
as she pointed
at the jumble
hoping i could
translate the
chicken scratch

the lady at the
register next
to her laughed
before telling
her coworker
that i was
mailing out books
and i felt the
crimson flush
as i stammered
about using my
phone to write
all of the stories

a faulty deflection

then the question
that freezes me
a deer in headlights
staring without
anything but
onset panic

what kind of
stories do you
write?

do i use the words
the reviewers
wrote in their
kind reviews like
transgressive
or speculative
try to explain
it’s less about
specific genre
and more my attempt
at conveying
emotions to make
the reader feel
something in a
few thousand words

and god forbid
i watch her eyes
go blank if i
were to mention
the fucking poetry

i manage to
sputter a very
non enthusiastic
horror adjacent
the helpful lady
says the p word
and i feel each
and every eye
burning a hole
into the back
of my workshirt
from the line
forming behind
as i curse my
inability at
legibility

to my surprise
the lady helping
me smiles with
approval and nods

i like poetry
especially
robert frost

i don’t let loose
the vitriol as it
floods my mouth
this haranguing
held back by
the ringing bell
announcing the line
growing longer
as i curse the
fact i don’t have
a printer for the
address labels
and the helpful
lady winks at me
while i try and
make myself small
enough to vanish

now i have to find
a different post office
maybe in another
town and a printer
or just never leave
the apartment again
as the final exchange
echoes in my head

i will get one of
your books and next
time you come in
we can talk about it

all i could do
was smile appreciatively
as i pulled on
the door
clearly marked push
and tried to make
my not so great escape

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s