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Archive for Sunday, July 23, 2006

Poet’s showcase

July 23, 2006

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At the Beer Store

By Samantha Bell


My husband opened his wallet, discovering

his only credit card was missing, had been stuck

in an ATM for seven hours in the scalding heat.

He only wanted to buy a soda at noon, was thirsty

and had to drive into the city at one. His soda

was cool and bubbly. I was not. Standing there,

I panicked that a common stranger plucked the plastic

straightaway and ran to the nearest airport, bought

a one-way to Alaska. Escape this heat, anyway.

Instead, when we called, the only transaction

was one I had already made. I asked my husband

if he held onto the receipt. In the bedroom, he smiled

slightly in the greasy mirror. I ate it, he said. I knew you

wouldn't want me to throw it out. I knew you would

have been mad. And he was right. I would have been.

Would have yelled at the sky, forsaken. Instead, I took a walk

alone, and thought about what I was so afraid of losing.


- Samantha Bell lives in Lawrence.

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