by Moneta Goldsmith

I was running late to work the other day—
I don’t have a job exactly, but I felt late
anyway, the way I always feel late
when I accidentally
take a trip through Whole
Foods parking lot and forget
I’m not supposed to
talk to the people with the clip-boards
who always make me feel awful
and dirty
for not having washed my hair lately, or
for not having micro-dermed my skin
with any kind of special exfoliant at all.

So the other day, this woman
stopped me—I was feeling late again—
and she said

‘Excuse me, sir. Would you care
to save a young girl’s life today?’

The two of us locked eyes for a moment too long,
me and this eager young woman with perfect skin,
this eager perfect young woman smiling with teeth—

‘No thanks,’ I said. ‘I already did.’

In that moment, I swear to you
I felt this woman’s soul
being sucked up into my body,
aaaaher clip-board and all.
I told myself I no longer needed
that special quinoa cleanse, and that
maybe never again would I need
to buy my customary rare-trade
sherpa goat cheese spread with apricot
that I used to like—

Not even a glass of kombucha
could have made me feel so perfectly on time.

Moneta Goldsmith is a writer, teacher, and the author of two ‘poetry’ chapbooks, including the forthcoming They Haven’t Invented a Pill for This Feeling Yet. His writings can be found in such magazines as Sparkle & Blink and Gorilla Troop, among others.