Volume 26, Number 3

Knife Party

on aisle three,
kraft macaroni & cheese next to isle grown
potatoes, children who poop where
the mop can’t reach,
the fuck we supposed to do
when the stores close, anyway,
said 24 hours
before thank you for shopping,
convention of time
units, so the toilet seats cracked,
the extra hour snapped our
the inflated balls all popped
and none of the sweatshirts
were neon, guys, come on
just this once, grab a weapon &
carve into the golf clubs
or anything metal
enough for this to break

clean up
on aisle seven,
knife party
with three wounded,
superstores that don’t run
on hours anymore because
businessmen couldn’t
spare the wages
the store workers couldn’t breathe
but everyone’s gone, you know?
say partying to cover the bleeding
like the cops with their guns
aimed at barrels, or kids, or small
town folk,
damaged goods
unnoticed both in & out the store,

knife party in every aisle,
last one standing gets the broken mirror,
slide its cracked frame down
the back stairs and pray that the shards
stay put.

—Sam Herschel Wein