the H.E.B.

that drunk man without a home is yelling
“happy new years” but it’s only the day
after christmas. for him, what’s the difference?
automatic doors open for me, the security officer
does not bat an eye.

while placing produce on the conveyor
I got distracted and
some little inkling of a poem slipped out
my mind, off my earlobe, and smacked
the ground. it flipped like a fish, wriggled

for some other undeserving wretch to receive.

now here I am, fuming;
the cashier lady won’t make small talk,
because she’s too busy talking to the person
in front of me, and also working.
I have some strong feelings
on this coffee I’m about to buy.
bad shit in Burma all week, but this ground
bean bag contains cayenne and dark chocolate.
it is fair trade, organic, and allied with the rain
forest so don’t you dare say I’m not a hero.

the cashier still won’t talk to me, but I listen
to public radio, and we all know that the world
is awful. just, wow, look into her eyes. look into mine.
eventually we’ll start crying and I think that means we’re in love.