Grocery Store Run-ins

We always meet.
Under these fluorescent lights
by the shelves stacked with bread,
where radio songs play loud and unclear
and passers-by walk in between the gaps
we’ve left.
never knowing who’s going to talk first
I reach for some rye bread
hoping it tells you about how I’ve changed
hoping it’ll spark a conversation
but instead, the kids running bump into you.
it’s always the same
every time we meet
under these fluorescent lights
glance at each other’s hands
and silent sighs of relief
when we see they’re empty
no ring on the finger.
and somehow
we always ended up standing in the same line
always you behind me
and always helping me carry the bags to the car
both parked next to each other
finally, we exchanged some words
thank you
and you smile saying bye.

Biography: Rim Alkaiat is an aspiring writer studying both fine art and creative writing at the University of Reading. Her poems centre around the mundane, drawing inspiration from her surroundings and observing life outside of her own. As for her art, Rim is always branching out, trying new things, from painting, to installations to working with textiles.