by Erik Leavitt
The Shopco knows no dignity
oranges perfect as bowling shoes
and a blue light flashing at every isle.
Henry hates the chuff of his sweatpants,
the needy tug of his cart down frozen goods.
He's no good at being himself,
so he imagines John Wayne packing his basket
with bacon and Pall Malls,
swaggering from shelf to shelf
for the brand of beans that match his coupon.
On his way home he'll rent a movie
where the cowboy tips his hat and spits
and the only tie is the one the gumshoe loosens
as he slumps behind his desk,
drinks a shot of whiskey, then pours another.
Erik Leavitt is a graduate of Macalester College with degrees in English and classics. Currently he works as a night auditor in Duluth, Minnesota. His poems "Fox" and "His name is like a ham sandwich" appeared in the winter 2002–03 issue of On the Page.