Volume 26, Number 3

Your Shopping Cart

No, not that shopping cart

The one you’re going to steal because
in a couple of hours you’ll be kicked
from your home. Or would you rather be

                So fill your shopping cart.
Quickly—what will you take? And what
        must you

whichever scavenging bastard
        or heartless neighbor
                or destructive kid—
                                Stop! You
don’t have time for that.

                                Fill up your cart.
You’re the winner. Queen for a day. Rushing
up and down aisles, accumulating loot before
the bell rings!

                                No you’re not.
You’re the loser. And you’ve lost everything but
whatever you can jam into that cart in the next hour
and 45 minutes (or so).

                                Choose wisely.
Down vest? Pillow? Photo album? Teddy bear?
Scented candle? iPod? Antique clock? Coffee Mug?

                                Think of the cold,
the wind and rain, and the sleet. (Jacket. Boots.
Sweatshirt. Raincoat. Umbrella. Blankets.
Extra socks.)

                                Think of the thieves,
the derelicts and predators, the treacherous pavement,
uncertain alleys, filthy bathrooms, and
unimaginable nights.

you can take a backpack too. And a roller bag,
if you must. Yes, and don’t forget to load up
on plastic bags.

                                Your online
days are done.
Have a nice day.

—Stephen Galiani