Perch, Victoria Barry
Fluorescents shoeshine my Shop
Local badge. My shoulder tote sags
fair trade coffee bags.
Here I think of all that is super:
the man, the ego, this store, this man
these chocolate raisin samples
I halfheartedly resist, toeing the line
between my personal illusions
& the mango stand.
What thoughts of things
I do not have tonight
apart from self loathing in the plantain aisle
raspberries whisper I should get a lobotomy
it is not a half bad idea
like the half off half good coconut halves.
Is it obvious my cart I mean tote is full
of fishbones & fingernails ?
Did I mention nightshades don’t sit
well within my shadows?
Did I mention my shoulder tote busks
for compliments ?
It says I am a liberal, I killed my brother Remus
would do it again for more
Did you know these machine wash
conflict free tank tops mean this is a hypermarket?
I mean it’s actually a superhypermarket
it sells food items, clothing items
& my shame items.
Against the meat counter I lean offended
the cleaver asked how much of me
I want to take home; I tell her two pounds.
I tell Garcia Lorca those watermelons
are for fucking eating.
A worm-eaten lettuce leaflet
means I consider eating worms tonight,
forces me to consider paying in
stolen nonunion cash & nonunion
Roman coins borrowed from Aeneas,
a worker named Alias
he pronounces Elias
wears gladiator sandals, heavy cargo
short shorts draped over tawny shins
hard crusty locks hang
What do you search for?
are you my angel?
do you carry SPAM ?
Or are you my tour guide
sent from the underworld?
I need to find where to find
where those juicy Roma tomatoes came from
& where my structural guilt comes from.
Guided thru soup cans
past nightmare beets
& nightstalker cabbage
down aisle of bread styx
I pay a dread haired woman
named Karen—or was it Sharon?
six hundred thirty-six cents
& thirty cents more
for nine plastic bags.
About the Author
Jonathan Lovett · University of California
Jonathan Lovett is a senior English major at the University of California, Loa Angeles. This piece first appeared in Westwind.
About the Artist
Victoria Barry · Mount Saint Mary’s University
Victoria Barry is an artist residing in Washington, D.C. Her work is inspired by cultural exploration, utilizing creative problem solving to create visual narratives. Perch first appeared in Lighted Corners.