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0 Comments | Nov 15, 2012

Shopping for Things I Don’t Even Like

Pick up some artichokes too
if they’re fresh.
And Brussels sprouts.
Don’t forget the Brussels sprouts.

Scrutinize chicken livers.
Squeeze eggplant.
Inhale French roast.
Carefully poke and prod
of varying sizes and shades.
Then select one
to take home
for someone else to eat.

Stand perplexed
before the yogurt aisle,
list in hand.
When did Greek become such a big deal?
Is Nutrasweet better or worse than sugar?
And what of milk and eggs?
Good these days? Or bad?

Present selections
to the teenage cashier
for judgment.
Gauge the nuances
of her expression
as she offers up
each to the scanner.

And then, finally,
comes the moment.
The question.
She stands waiting
with silent smile.
And I do feel judged.
I feel like a bad person
But not for the yogurt
or the avocados
I will not eat.
I feel bad for not caring
what sort of bag she uses.
Because I suspect
that I should care.
I should know
whether paper or plastic
is better
and why one is better.

Because simply saying
I don’t care
comes out sounding like
it’s not important enough
for me to care,
which is not
how I feel at all,
I think.

Step through the hissing
automatic door,
out into the harsh glare
of mid-afternoon.
Sixty-four dollars
and seventeen cents
worth of food
I don’t like
in bags I feel
guilty about
without quite knowing

This is my life.

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