A man waiting in line to pay for his groceries
is caught in a tornado.
He is spinning so fast that his face is a blur.
His shirt and pants are starting to tear, his jacket
sleeves are shredded, and one of his shoes
has blown away. The hair on his head
has gyrated into a dark spike.
The woman behind him moves her mouth
to say something but finds herself
in a severe drought. Dust blows out
of her eyes and ears. Her head takes on the look
of a desiccated skull, the kind often found
in desert paintings, and her hands have become cracked earth.
The cashier turns to the tornadic man
and the drought woman, but as soon as she
moves, she finds herself caught in an avalanche.
Snow pack presses down on her. She cannot lift
her head or move her limbs. Her eyelashes freeze.
The manager notices that the line at cash register
number three is not moving. He wades through
the flood he has become, water pouring out of his
mouth, fish nesting in his pockets. He manages
to find his phone and call his wife, telling her
that he will be home late, because he is having
weather-related issues at the store.
She tells him not to worry, her voice sounding
like raindrops smacking glass, while
her friend, whom she invited over for tea, has
become a doe and begins to lap her up.
Keith Polette has returned to writing poetry after being away from it, dwelling in the world of prose, for many years. He is grateful to have had his poems published recently in Sky Island Journal, Otoliths, One Sentence Poems, The Offbeat, the Peeking Cat Anthology, The Esthetic Apostle, Typishly, Sonic Boom, and Shot Glass Journal. His book of haiku, The New World, was published by Red Moon Press. He currently lives and writes in El Paso, Texas.