Return Policy by Adia Reynolds

“I would like to make a return, please.”
The employee’s pierced eyebrow rises
Marking her disdain
“No returns, no refunds, no exceptions.”
I squeeze it harder in my hand
“I would like to make a return.”

Return that which has harmed me so
Please, it grows heavier in my
Hand than it ever was in my chest
Rises with my breath, falls with my pulse
Exceptions made for an exceptional case
Disdain migrates from eyebrows to eyes

Chest thumping, not to be confused with a heartbeat
Eyes meet eyes, windows to the soul
Pulse meets pulse, nosy neighbors peer
So very unsubtly caught
My Narcissus or my mirror
Case study in humanity

Mirror reflections of two girls making their way
Peers on no level except the
Soul, the common variable to
The Humanity Equation
Heartbeat + Soul =
A girl caught between the left and right
Ventricle like a blood clot

The employee seems to soften
The understanding that
Heartbeat equates to heartache
Equates to the girl before her
Clutching half a heart
The right ventricle and aorta

With all the desperation of a dying man
Or a doomed lover
Either way, it’s cardiac arrest
Nothing but desperation brought her to the refund counter
Desperate to make a return