︎︎︎︎︎ Haley Bergeson
︎ Sept 6, 2023

the produce beeps as it rides along the checkout belt
the bag boy has a stutter and Bert squints
his back to me in his fluorescent grocery store
fruits and vegetables, a deli with loud handsome boys, a quiet man who renders sushi

Bert comes to Dad’s bar
I crush up the sugar cube, bourbon and bitters for him
we talk against the ambient snowfall,
but we like to be quiet together too.
a popular man has many burdens
though he should be close
with possibility and chance and luck

Bert shows me the photos of his Grandchildren
they are tiny and I was tiny and
they will grow like I grew

when you drop the ice cube into the bourbon,
it cracks rather violently
in Bert’s store hangs the phrase
“a small town is like a big family”

Haley Bergeson lives and works in Los Angeles.