Self-Portrait Between the Aisles
(a) The Man Outside in the Santa Suit
Dark winters wear me down, turn my roots to black smoke along their rusted crown. The bells on my mother’s old skirt jingle the second verse to the man who asks for coin. Inside the invisible doors, cherries glisten in plumped rows, lettuces wave their fronds, irises bloom. Isn’t it too early in the year for anything sane to be alive?
(b) The Snack Food Section
Nothing says your body is decayed more than a bag of ripped chips, salt swirls your new fingerprints. Love. The way we put things inside our bodies. Among the crumbs and the broken receipts, sometimes treasures. I found a baby once, crumple-eyed and weary, saying mama mama papa. It wasn’t on sale so I put it back. Someone else would take it.
(c) Behind the Man with The Cart Full of Beer
That smell of toffee and mold. Like dessert gone bad. No, like bad gone to dessert. It’s enough to make you take a risk. I want to lick the salt off the openings. No I don’t. Believe that, will you? I’m just a woman who needs to buy some cheese. Not wanting to look more closely at myself makes me impatient and unwilling to reach through the glass.
(d) Don’t Check Me Out Line
I’ve got more round things than I can fit in my mouth. Grapes mostly, because they break open. Satisfying. Too much baggage for the self-service aisle, but unwilling to admit I need help. Turns out they won’t take teeth as payment. Anymore. I offer my tongue, my liver, my wurst. The people gather in line behind me, waiting.
Image taken with iPhone at Whole Foods cheese-sampling counter
Words written in a big leather chair
Time Taken 10 minutes?
Brain on dinner, working out, what’s next