I am congratulated on all sides by heads of lettuce
because to get to the biscuits and noodles
you have to squeeze past the vegetables
and being new to the country they
are generous with their admiration
and have spread their leaves forward as if to embrace.
I may have fainted en route but if upon waking
it’s still the same song that’s playing, and it’s
Minnie Riperton whistling maternally
to her daughter, then I can believe again
that the world is contiguous, and that
the entire mall is celebrating something
small and lonely, like a baby, or a feral
hamster. I want to ask if these memories
are mine or merely the reflection
of electric lights against the storefront,
the glow of a hall of mirrors, crafted
accidentally from a shiny pleather boot
and a hand mirror. Once I gave a Thank You
card to a salesman with a limp. Once I held open
a door to stranger while having a nosebleed.
Once I ate a whole cheeseburger, each last remaining
sesame seed. Once I hailed a cab and gave it to a child
in need. Once I picked up a bottle of shampoo
that fell on the floor and restored it to its best position.
Brilliantly the light shines upon the freshly mopped floor
and rewards, even the children, with tiny coins.