When I Find You In Tesco, Around Half Eleven Tuesday Morning
In the canned food section
reaching for tinned beans,
basket hung from one hand,
the other splayed open
stretched to the shelf.
All of you lifting upwards,
feet coming off the acrylic
when these fingers,
wrap around your nape.
Thumb presses beneath your jaw,
below the hinge of it
where the flesh is spongy
and pressure pings a tightness,
a taste up the side of your skull.
Further down the aisle,
a woman choosing chopped tomatoes
pretends not to notice.
Another rearranges her bag,
checks her phone,
adds salt to her list of items.
Both mark your silence
your rabbit eyes,
in this supposedly safe space
as the sun catches on car park puddles
visible through wall wide windows,
and a speaker calls ‘all cashiers to the desk please’,
security standing less than a scream away,
but the taste keeps you reaching
for the tinned beans on the high shelf
my nails leaving marks
deep in your flesh.
Carol J Forrester is a Shropshire poet, based in Cheshire. . She’s published individual poems with The Drabble, Riverbed Review, Hencroft Hub, and The Daily Drunk. Her collection It’s All In The Blood came out in 2019.