shopping cart overturned near corner of cropsey avenue

the watermelon was the first
to go. the type fathers cradle callused
pepper-crack haired arms thump to check
if it’s hollow like bloated belly check for a beating
heart seeded with crimson slush and rotting-teeth
kernels she’d do anything to forget hollow. forget
watermelon forget woman here a few seconds ago forgot
to turn the stove off. the grapes are second casualties
bloodred orbs squelch scuffed-stone
plucked from the garden of eden or aisle 5
at the keyfood down the block though
no one stoops for sour grapes. say eulogy for
cyan and magenta stained teeth because if she didn’t
keep the coupon clippings close how could
the little old woman afford the chicken thighs
how could thimble fingers thread chop
peel skin slice severed tongues till
lumps form left to burble in vat of vegetable oil
old lady knead sweet nothings into latkes leave
a message at the tone. the shopping cart is the third
to go. swept to the curb like litany for knock-off perfume
and chicken soup-stains graft moth-eaten marrow 
thimble fingers to teflon medusa doesn’t spare
sunday crossword lovers doesn’t check for cracks
or fissures but at least she keeps good company
next customer please

Elizabeth Shvarts is a 16-year old writer and spoken word poet hailing from Staten Island, NY. Her work in poetry and activism has been highlighted by The New Yorker, PBS, the United Nations, the Apollo, NY1, Grist Magazine, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Alliance for Climate Education, and more. In addition to being recognized for spoken word poetry, Elizabeth is a 2021 National YoungArts Finalist in Play/Script, with written work published in Frontier Poetry, Twin Pies Literary, Hadassah Magazine, jGirls Magazine, and more. An advocate through entrepreneurship as well as art, Elizabeth is the co-founder/co-director of Bridge to Literacy, a global, U.S Department of State-funded nonprofit that fosters a love of language through literacy-based mentorship in 100+ youth across 6 continents.