Supermarket in Santa Monica

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

raisins ?

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

the question

What do you search for?

I ask

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 · UCLA

Jonathan Lovett is a senior English major at UCLA. 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. 

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