-Lisa Kendrick, Norfolk, VA

only a ten minute lunch break
in a twelve hour workday
to scan the tiny aisles
and peruse shelves packed
with over-priced items
for something palatable
when I notice you staring
with a hunger that makes my skin crawl…
“Ay, mami, you looking good”…
carefully stuffing diet slurpee
into it’s over-sized cup and lid
while scrutinizing the yogurt selections
as I avoid the donut display
trying so hard to ignore
your eyes assaulting my person…
“Hey, baby, can I help you find anything”…
pausing to grab a bag of nuts
while comparing bruises on bananas
and weighing dark chocolate options
your presence an invasion of my space
my cringing an involuntary motion…
“Goddamn, you just so hot”…
my hands shake as I pay for my items
my legs beat a hasty retreat
your gaze a hot poker to my backside…
I guess you didn’t get the memo
that I am not on the fucking menu
I guess no one bothered to tell you
that I am not an afternoon snack
I guess no one explained to you
that women are not here to whet your appetite…
it is all I can do to not
burn rubber out of the lot
your swagger an accusation in my rear-view mirror
your departing whistle like the report of a rifle
the taste of my food totally soured
by the pungent scent of your aggression
my ten minutes of leisure destroyed
by the tastelessness of your rabid onslaught

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