Shopping Cart Liveslisten to this poem
NZ, if you’re awake/able
to see this message, I went to bed,
late, went for early returns,
but soon remembered: our alarms need
to set, for your daughter is
in competition, and my son stumbles to pee.
We enter and leave,
these backs all snap-trawled. Setting:
U-S-A, if you’re able/awake
to see this message, I’m contained
in a thread full of jotting lines
behind triangles, arrowed-out of one arm rested,
Can I ask you now: Will we collide of our making?
Something is lost in the overhead aisle,
in the supermarket
the inscription reads “in Moose Bed.”
Can we caption out the code?
And how much younger, for us to float through
where all was darkness before,
but now inside an R-rated movie
where for no reason, the little boy who sees
sits inside his cart and shakes off fear
as his mother pushes the trolley,
running, picking up her pace, she
rushes and he closes his eyes, hands high above
in the jello-wind
velocity, the speed of kindness
smashes his hair—enough for two people
long enough to slow, the poem
down a moment
about how 16-hours-worth-of-font-type-difference
tells us it’s nobody’s fault,
How Razors Worked
When my daughter shaved her cowboy
boots to see how razors worked
she tried to colour in the missing leather
with a felt tip pen…
I only noticed this deception at the checkout line,
looking up at supermarket ceilings, at the light-road danger,
of four-fucked lanes,
roll breathe streamline turn
and the reflection back:
a gossip of carts at counters 6, 12, and 9,
where I see the Rorschach Olympics,
interpret the swirls of her swinging boot,
dangling in the plastic basket of a trolley-seat,
the perforated back-rest just like a music stand,
its blueprints propped up on spider-mesh and harness.
Because it’s convenient.
Because we have two hands.
Her boots sway like an organ grinder until the heels tap back
against the cage
of light sounds and lids, of razor kettles throbbing,
this thumb once clamped down on ovals to press
long enough so my skin would burn, peel off,
sticking to plastic that acted like metal.
I used to wonder if I’d ever find one person
out in the tectonic mass of globe-thaw cold
who could raise the right colour to heal my pain.
I found a pen and it drops from your pocket.