getting my vodka for the week

Overhead lights

buzz like

big fluorescent

honey bees.

Two fat women

with cheeks like tomatoes

slug through

the bright aisles

in baggy black

sweatshirts

and

camouflage

pajama pants.

They reek

of weed and

hard-to-reach

dirty places.

I pass them in aisle nine.

Their cart bursts

with hot dogs,

potato chips,

easy-cheese,

Mountain Dew,

Oreos

and Pop-Tarts.

One tosses a jar

of beef gravy

to the other.

I hear it break,

pick up my pace

and glide

to the Liquor Cubby.

Paige,

the tall, pasty

sales associate

with jet black

hair,

glossy pink

fingernails,

holes

in the knees

of his blue

jeans,

and tiny rainbow tattoos

on each side of his neck,

shoves

a squeaky-wheeled

mop bucket

down the middle

of LakeShore Foods.

He whistles the theme 

from The Wizard of Oz,

winks at me

and nods.

I hold my Sobieski

like a baby and

wait

in checkout five,

behind

a tiny,

wrinkly woman.

She has grapes,

buttermilk,

York Peppermint Patties,

and cottage cheese.

She farts

and laughs,

asks

for paper bags,

for today’s date,

a pen,

then writes a check.

Thin, veiny fingers,

and bony wrist

shaking

with purpose,

making

all of this

last.

~ KJ