Lost in Supermarkets

You don’t go to supermarkets to dance, but this is how that music makes you feel, this song that is pretty and jangly and happy and terrible all in one; it breaks rocks, it moves mountains, it plucks ripe strawberries from the field and presses them against your mouth so you can’t help but take a bite; they are warm as flesh and even smell like it, that sweet musk, easily bruised, and this is how that music makes you feel, like you are standing on the edge of the diving board, and everything is before you and everything can still change; the child in your supermarket cart could be born or could not be; everything’s up for grabs, silver coins thrown into the air and they spin and fall but never land, and you will never land but always be caught in this dive, this fall, you’re boarding the train, one foot on the platform, leaving in a fizz of sound, an iced Coke cracked open but not yet sipped from, Polaroid-framed halfway up the stairs, one leg pulling that short skirt taut, nothing behind you but that fine behind and everything ahead; the train rolls, the guitars surge, and you could be called back by the right word, the eternal oh, the eternal please of that moment before everything is decided when you are always just a minute under seventeen.

This story was featured in issue 8.1. Pick up your copy today!

Kathryn Kulpa is a writer and editor who leads writing workshops for teens and adults in the Rhode Island area. She is the author of the short story collection Pleasant Drugs (Mid-List Press) and a contributor to the anthology Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers (Spider Road Press). Her micro-chapbook, Who’s the Skirt?, is forthcoming from the Origami Poems Project. Read more of her work at kathrynkulpa.com.