Kate Stumpf

When the man and the woman walked in
the doors whooshed open one time
as if they were arriving together.

Then the woman, or maybe still a girl,
with forgotten foods tattooed on her hand in quickly scrawled pen marks
strode toward the tower of baskets and picked one out for herself.

And the man, or maybe still a boy,
went the opposite direction, his backpack swinging over his shoulder,
to pull a cart out of parking, not sharing the basket.

The man paused, reaching into his pocket
to pull out a crumpled post-it, causing a collision
with the woman, still looking down at her hand.

They lingered, her basket entangled in his backpack
huddled together as if one unit
shopping for one kitchen.

But maybe the single shoosh of the doors wasn’t
a collision of worlds, and the huddle was just a bump
between two people and two kitchens.

The woman with the basket
walked toward the cheese and eggs away
from the man with the cart.

I imagine this man and woman will bump again
among the dried pasta and marinara, and a table will be shared
between two people eating noodles cooked in one kitchen.

Even if the man and the woman aren’t
referred to as one, they
walked in the grocery’s doors with one woosh.

So, in a way, they are together
even if just for that moment in time.

Kate Stumpf is a senior studying chemical engineering. She highly recommends spontaneously enrolling in classes completely unrelated to one’s major (that’s how she ended up in poetry!)