The Inarticulate

by Michael Waters
Waters. Parthenopi. The Inarticulate
Touching your face, I am like a boy who bags groceries, mindless on a Saturday, jumbling cans of wax beans and condensed milk among frozen meats, the ribboned beef and chops like maps of continental drift, extremes of weather and hemisphere, egg carton perched like a Napoleonic hat, til he touches something awakened by water, a soothing skin, eggplant or melon or cool snow pea, and he pauses, turning it in his hand, this announcement of color, purple or green, the raucous rills of the aisles overflowing, and by now the shopper is staring when the check-out lady turns and says "Jimmy is anything the matter?" Touching your face, I am like that boy brought back to his body, steeped in the moment, fulfilled but unable to speak.