December settles on the beach supermarket.
In the marvelously artificial light, a man
stands in the fruit section near a woman.
Looking at the pineapples and clementines,
he wonders what they would play on a guitar,
though he intends to buy only beer.
He thinks that his desire for beer
and the warm sea winds outside the supermarket
could both be explained by a guitar
though misunderstood too easily by a man.
Bruises and early harvesting mar the clementines.
He picks up a lime, imagines saying to the woman,
Most fruits prefer flamenco; but the woman
is selecting oranges. She seems as interested in a beer
as the shelves must be in the clementines.
The athletic winds hurdle the supermarket.
Half-resolved, rejecting the lime, the man
ridicules the idea of fruit playing guitar
as holiday classics, articulated on three guitars,
discourage him from speaking to the woman.
The songs’ elevator sophistication mocks the man
like a morning kiss spoiled by an aftertaste of beer;
in the conditioned cool of the supermarket,
he feels like an overripe clementine.
We are what we are, say the clementines.
Hark! The herald angels sing, offer the guitars.
After collecting her oranges in the supermarket
with careful consideration, the woman
wants artichokes, more stoic than bottles of beer;
when she walks past him she doesn’t see the man.
But, agile and ardent as the winds, while the man
abandons his equation with the clementine
and forsakes the fruits to search for tonight’s beer,
the oranges in her basket take up a guitar
and play a sly, endearing legato for the woman.
She hums along in the aisles of the supermarket.
Among the beer, trying to ignore the holiday guitar,
the man agrees with the inscrutable clementines.
The woman waits in the supermarket’s checkout line.