I walk to Safeway where the air stays on
and wander through the frozen foods, the cold
glass coffins filled with meat and bonbons,
the sacks of baby peas in their controlled,
electric winter, the biscuit dough
in canisters. Most people hurry through
the bluer parts to where the heat lamps glow,
a slice of pizza warming there. They chew
on freebie samples in the produce aisle.
But I prefer the chill, the muffled whoosh
of freezer doors pulled shut. Even the tile
floor sounds quieter. I could live in the hush,
among the juice concentrate and quick sauté,
where no one knows if it is night or day.

Jehanne Dubrow’s most recent collection is Stateside (Northwestern University Press, 2010). Her work has appeared in The Hudson Review, Poetry, The New England Review, and Blue Mesa Review, among others. She is an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at Washington College, on the eastern shore of Maryland.

First published in Measure, Volume 6, Issue 2 (2011)