A Price Favorable to the Buyer

At gate eighty-eight in the Denver airport,
straight ahead is the last deli.
I’m hungry for words,
go back to the newsstand.

Stashed behind Louise Erdrich
two copies of a slim volume,
poetry. The price marked plainly
on the back cover. Ten dollars.

The cashier shakes her head.
“It’s not in here. I mean,
it’s not an official book.
Somebody must have left it.”

There are two brand new on the kiosk.
“You can’t buy the book.
It’s not listed in my catalog. Sorry.”

Clever poet, guerrilla marketing.
Knowing this book of poems won’t get distributed.

You can give poetry away
when someone like me comes along.
The cashier says,
“Just take it.”

Cathryn Shea has earned a living from technical writing most of her life. Her chapbook, Snap Bean, is published by CC. Marimbo. Find recent poetry in Gargoyle, Permafrost Magazine, Picaroon Poetry, Rust + Moth, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Cathryn lives in Fairfax, CA, and serves on the editorial staff for the Marin Poetry Center Anthology. See http://www.cathrynshea.com and @cathy_shea on Twitter.

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