i have a dumb face
a public face
this kid sees it every day
and he keeps trying
to sell me candy
out of a catalog

it’s for his school

he sees my face
and he begins waving
the catalog at me

i have already humored him once
looking through the catalog
while he watched
my face looking
through the catalog
at all of the pictures
of chocolate and candies
presented so elaborately
that the confections just looked like
dull and tasteless sculptures

i told the kid that i had
no money that day
that he could catch me the next day

but of course
i was broke that day too

every other time
that he’s waved that catalog at me
i’ve told him that
i’m too busy to look at the candy

i tell him to come back tomorrow

i have no clue why
i can’t be honest with this kid

it’s almost become an obscene
ritual the way i duck him now
going this way or that
out of my way
giving him seedy sideways glances
whenever he starts waving
that fucking catalog at me

i’m trying my best to avoid him

in total right now
i hide in my office

whenever he comes in
i’ll be doing this until october ninth

that’s when the candy orders
are due in at school
which gives me
a good two weeks of freedom
before the christmas gift catalogs
are scheduled to come out.

by John Grochalski

Return to Issue 42