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Penelope Moffet

Penelope Moffet’s most recent chapbook is It Isn’t That They Mean to Kill You (Arroyo Seco Press, 2018).  Her poems have been published in Natural Bridge, Permafrost, Levure Litteraire, Pearl, The Rise Up Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Verse-Virtual, The Missouri Review and other literary journals, as well as in the anthologies what wildness is this: Women Write about the Southwest (University of Texas Press, 2007), Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press, 2016) and California Fire & Water: A Climate Crisis Anthology (Story Street Press, 2020).


At K-mart
each new hire
was trained first
on the registers
and then they gave you
your own zone. I was
Draperies and Yardage,
learned to handle damask,
cotton swags and valances,
how to cut cloth more
or less precisely,
how to trim a blind,
but whenever lines
of carts grew long, the
call came over the P.A.:
“All checkers to the front!”
and I’d have to leave my post,
go ring up sales again.

On one side of Drapes
was Sporting Goods
and on the other Shoes.
Tall dark Yogi
flirted with me
by the boots
and flip-flops,
pale Dave
gleamed mischief
beneath beard and glasses,
snared me with his puns.
I swung between the two:
the one who taught me
how to kiss, the one
who slipped
the hook.

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