The Poems

Midnight Grocery Shopping After Watching Days and Days of Viking Week on the History Channel

From the Summer, 2004, issue 

(No. 12)

grocery carts

would not make good longboats:

too many holes.

a disabled freezer chest

in aisle 5 provides

a cold sea to wade through,

and i do, with large, heavy steps.

tonight, i would be satisfied

with another man’s woman

thrown over my bulky shoulder.

her name would be helga

to my sven.

barring a lack of women to abduct,

even a large fish to char would be nice.

instead, i am left with a tin can

of tuna—dolphin-friendly at that.

i throw the can

into the cart with more muscle

than needed.

an elderly lady hovering

beside the green beans


her pink sequined purse

tightly to her sagging chest.

overripe tomatoes

fall from her gnarled root hands,

explode, then bleed

onto the cool green linoleum.

i smell blood,

and like it.