The Ancient Modern

Passing Through  /  Joshua Alan Sturgill

RECEIPT paper.  they say it’s coated 
with a plastic that invisibly passes 
through your fingers and turns 
to estrogen.  All day I ask do you

want your receipt? and they say yes
and the printer shudders out instant
words and numbers THANK YOU 
and we touch the paper together then 

they hurry away with their groceries
and I wonder about how plastic FOR
SHOPPING can be estrogen and
what bodies are and how much plastic

is right now turning to estrogen
in the tap water WITH US
and I wonder will it matter that I 
am so close to so many people

passing on the highway, passing 
through my check-out line, crowded 
VALUED CUSTOMERS in
restaurants and bars, hundreds 

of WE APPRECIATE YOUR
BUSINESS people every day so
close to me THANK YOU THANK
YOU but I never know their names


All poetry and supplementary material: copyright 2021 by Joshua Alan Sturgill. All rights reserved.

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