|A SUPERMARKET IN
What thoughts I had of you tonight, Walt Witman, for I walked
down the sidestreets under the trees with a headache selfconscious looking
at the full moon.
In my hungry fatigue, and shopping for images, I went into the neon fruit
supermarket, dreaming of your enumerations!
What peaches and w hat penumbras!! Whole families shopping at night!
Aisles full of husbands! Wives in avocados, babies in tomatoes! - and you,
Garcia Lorca, what were you doing dowm by the watermelons?
I saw you, Walt Whitman, childless, lonely old grubber, poking among the
meats in the refrigerator and eyeing the grocery boys.
I heard you asking questions of each: Who killed the pork chops? What
price bananas? Are you my Angel?
I wandered in and Out of the brilliant stacks of cans following you, and
followed in my imagination by the store detective.
We strode down the open corridors together in our solitary fancy tasting
artishokes, possessing every frozen delicacy, and never passing the cashier.
Where are you going, Walt Whitman? The doors close in an hour. Which way
does your beard point tonight?
(I touch your book and dream of our odyssey in the supermarket and feel
Will we walk all night through solitary streets? The trees add shade to
shade, lights out in the houses, we'll both be lonely.
Will we stroll dreaming of the lost America of love passed blue
automobiles in driveways, home to our silent cottage?
A, dear father, graybeard, lonely old courage-teacher, what America did
you have when Charon quit poling his ferry and you got out on a smoking bank
and stood watching the boat on the black waters of Lethe?