CONTENTS | POETRY

 

I didn't see the door
as it opened to avoid my stare
I guess it didn't care.
an electronic eye
focused narrowly upon my wake
and hit a circuit breaker -
the aisles were armed
with deadly sales
and garish light
which lit the shoppers,
hollowed out their faces
leaving zombies in their traces
walking slowly in the ruins
of name-brands.
the butcher showed no pity
and the girl who gave out
sample bits of food
was made of smiling wood
so sweetly pinned on was her name
no room for error.
the bottle-return-coveyor-belt
was feeding on a woman in a robe
and chanting happily
"I told you so" and so it had
and blue fake-fur was pinned
between its teeth.
the frozen freezers helped themselves
and stocked their shelves
with food from empty carts -
the carts
were big as cages, bars of
plastic steel, and wheels
as round as squares
and held inside the traffic jams
among the brightly colored cans
stalked children filled with
anger at their mothers, who were
busy with the spinach and
ignoring all the cereal
as mothers will, when they're grown-up
enough to lose their taste.
the checked-out girls were pretty
as they chewed on gum
that had no pity; sweetly vapors
greeted checkbooks
phone numbers were given
in the heat of the moment.
the bag boys, trapped in ties
put the bread on top
then turned the bags upside-down
and threw the bottles of pop
at the cigarette-blonde managers
and the bald and sweaty managees.
I ducked out with my catch
and heard gunfire behind;
the parking lot ahead was mined
and cars were hitting who they could
racing for the handicapped zones
while inside a man was lynched
some people just don't belong
in the fast lane, eight items
or not.