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Mark Parsons



The closed circuit TV

dome camera

from drop ceiling tile grid

watches the curious thing as it happens

below: women who work

the checkout lines, gathered together in small groups,

pull from identical smocks in the company's colors their smartphones

and log in preferred social media websites for updates,

an unthinking gesture

taken up

woman by woman and

traded off,

checking what they last knew

against what they know now:

staying abreast of a middle-aged Afro-American female celebrity

who’s visiting their rust belt town,

recently photographed

on the arm of a young stud

at her newsworthy cultural happening, who these same women


are certain will make an appearance:

her broad and noble brow;

chemically relaxed and straightened hair in a plain

and severe bun because

working is practical, when you live in a right-to-work state;

her smoldering eyes are privy

to coffee break insights

their husbands and boyfriends

wipe from their faces and crumple in kerchiefs

driving home from work.


The women have no doubt she’ll say to the one most

well-endowed among them,

“It was my eyes that first attracted him.”

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