I’m tired of Apple Jacks, Apple O’s, Apple Crisps,
Apple Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch,
Apple Chex (Gluten Free), Apple Pebbles,
Apple Raisin Bran, and Apple Frosted Flakes,
but they are always, for some reason, on sale.
Standing in the pink menagerie
of meats, I realize that at twenty-five
I still don’t know the difference between
and ground round
I scry my future
through the expiration dates
on milk cartons:
hundreds of empty jugs
towering towards the sky,
surrounded by the shadows
I know there’s a man in a mint green shirt
standing in the darkness behind these shelves
in the milk crate city
I’ve seen his phantom hands
pushing new cartons out.
Why this urge to reach
and embrace them?
Crisp cold bags of butterhead lettuce,
big-stalked celeries, savoy cabbage
rimpled like the folds of a big emerald
brain, yellow and orange bells.
I don’t have enough money
for any of these.
O red-haired girl
the freeze-dried plums,
like a night-worker’s
can you teach me
I hate the way my hair looks
in the stale white light
of 600 LEDS.
hauls the carcasses
of spoiled fruit-stuff
behind the swinging double-doors
and down into the underworld.
I think of pushing
my bum-wheeled cart
into the stacked pyramid
of Budweiser cases—
the implosion, fugitive cans
bursting against the dur-a-flex floor,
spinning and shooting foam
to the tune of Enrique Iglesias
The fourth grade in me wonders why,
with so many pounds of gelatinous cuisine,
nobody’s thought of starting a food fight.
My father taught me
what the color
of the bread ties mean
but among the whole grains
I remember nothing.