Ode to a shoplifter

Jay Sizemore

You give yourself away,
swivel-necked and mercurial,
a body that vibrates
like an animated scribble
just outside the coloring lines.

Even when at practiced ease,
there is a sense of paranoia,
a stench of marijuana smoke
clinging to a camouflage coat,
or something wilder underneath.

You’re trying too hard
to relax, to be just another wallet
folded and stored away
in the pocket of a passerby
looking for the easiest possible path.

The aura of desperation
glows like iridium on your skin,
it’s a sheen of unclean dew,
an irritant caught in your shoe
that will never be found.

Still, you’re a dancer with shadows,
moving between the aisles
like a marked card
in the deck of a magician,
pulled from the bottom again and again.

It’s a kind of music
that wants to be touched,
this cat and mouse game with luck,
it’s worth it for the adrenaline rush,
emerging through those automated doors

unwatched and for just a moment
uncaught.

Jay Sizemore

Written by

The poet everyone loves to hate. Author of 12 poetry collections.

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