Before the doors slid closed,
I was joined in the grocery store foyer
By a woman who must have had laser eyes.
In the trio of seconds I took to choose my cart,
She had fully assessed, with spite and spit, that the
Monolith wall of whatever-the-product,
Piled as if to barricade,
"Was not clearly priced."
She made eye contact with me like I imagine a cougar might, with
Whatever unfortunate dinner
Froze before it.
I felt to have been tapped, chosen as accomplice in her rage;
Would I unsheathe my own complaining-sword and join her in slaying, smiting,
Verbally Julienning it all, in an
Onslaught of bitterness, carpet-commenting to the dairy case?
“I hate this store,” she hissed,
The noon sunshine, and blue sky through the glass behind her–
The same features used by Michelangelo, worthy of the same glory–
Glad to be quit of this walking dark, angry cloud for a time.
I broke her vice-like gaze with a sharp twist of my neck,
Shoved my cart ahead, deep into the heart of the produce section,
Lost her with a deft button-hook around an
Outlier bin full of acorn squash.
So. Much. Food.
Later, while driving uptown,
A different woman,
Close-shorn, wiry to gaunt,
Walked in front of my van at an intersection
While she spoke to the invisible–
No phone, no earbuds, no recorder,
Just her and her gods.
Of the two warriors, it is only the second one I would travel with,
To meet her gods, and
Discuss the ones we have in common.