bad fish

standing in the express line at wal-mart—
the chafed nipple of commercialism.

it hits me deep in the guts
like bad fish

i am a panama hat, an anachronism here
in the mortuary gleam
of freshly mopped ceramic
and polished metal counter tops

and to the young woman unclipping security tags
with the malaise of broken promises, misplaced ambitions,
the pentium core of mediocrity

i am just another man, another four digit code
amid the trance of her beep beep beeping scanner
another taker taking the precious moments of her youth.

i am so full of shit
standing here with my cart
full of chinese artefacts
feeling out of touch with the young
feeling all the things my elders felt
feeling superior somehow

i am not so unique
just another middle aged
moderate waged
discount junkie getting my fix on the half price rack

i imagine the lights
gone dim in the aisles
the check out girl standing at her locker
untying her pale blue smock
shaking the dust and drag
from her tumbling flaxen hair
allowed to be a woman again

now, my turn at the cash and
all i can do is smile at her like an idiot
with a cart full of crap.

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