Covid’s Harem

i chew mint gum
behind my mask at
whole foods, walk by the
organic cherries, putting
their shiny bulbs into
the cart

our eyes dart out
looking at one another, we’ve
gotten used to this
toothless, lipless existence
as if we are helplessly in
covid’s harem, all of us

unhappy wives
plucking up frozen pizzas
following aisle arrows
in the direction away
from looming sickness
that saturates everything

with its statistics and
endless news of how this
will continue unabated
but still we eat the
sweet cherries, hoping
to one day be free

Of Love and Things

black friday
pop up ads
vanity fair
folded perfume

possess, covet
objects of pride
I’m better than you
insistence that

moneyed hierarchy
is the answer
will solve
all woes

sorry, not sorry
to say, this
accumulating life
is wasting time

on things (and
you’ve heard this
before), stuff won’t
make you happy

but instead, yes
love, it is
so simple
also free

Walking Into Walgreens

they usually know
what they want
the gum or
shiny People Magazine

others walk the
aisles, an activity
to pass the
time in fluorescent

lights, examine lipsticks
red and pink,
most days there
is a man

sometimes a woman
who sits out
front, any help?
it is both

question and statement
they are usually
ignored except for
those few who

drop quarters in
the old coffee
cup, thank you
they say, and

customers smile before
looking for cuticle
scissors or deodorant
to smell better

this is all
normal at Walgreens
in San Francisco
maybe other places