Soft eyes

Sometimes I feel more love

from a grocery store clerk

than I do

from the rest of the world combined.

He looks me in the eye

softly,

unwaveringly,

steadfastly,

and cares whether I understand

that paper is better than plastic.

So I choose paper —

not to please him

but to let him know

that I’m on the same page.

He wants me to know that if I had chosen plastic,

he would have been forced to charge me 20 cents and thus

I am now even more convinced.

Before I go,

he smiles calmly

and I believe

that he cares

about me.

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