Seven in the evening,
black coffee in my cup,
it’s 9am somewhere,
I’m just now waking up
to a blur of
five-year-olds drunk with dirt
and parents ignoring their trails on the carpet,
preteen girls in tights making TikToks,
high schoolers in pajamas no matter the hour,
middle schoolers in crop tops no matter the age,
middle aged women sneaking a scratch and sniff with their knee-high socks,
finance bros drowning in debt recommending each other “business books,”
a white woman with a man’s haircut investigating the inclusive aisle,
kitsch first dates that talk over each other or don’t talk at all,
a girl with a new piercing carrying a stack of six self-help books,
grown men in flying V-necks squeezing out every corpuscle of testosterone,
grown boys in short shorts revealing the Greek tattoos on their knees,
scrollers never lifting their eyes from their phones
and their heads from their asses,

I catch the eye of the pale girl in a band tee and nose ring,
who smiles,
probably not at me,
and then buries herself into in a murder-mystery,
as if telling me I’m just another book on the wall
that only few will every read.