22 years old and red raw with yellow

by August 15, 2020 0 comments

I was scared to live
and scared to die
so I got a job in a supermarket.

I was stacking shelves
when this loud slap echoed outside:
PAH-CHOW! like a gunshot

so I put my box down and went out there
looking for some crossfire
but it was just some mid-pubescent oaf trying to start his motorbike
as it banged out black farts.
what you lookin at? he said
and I thought:
if he hits me, I might be allowed to go home and kill myself
or, if he hits me hard enough, I might just die here and now.
it was win-win.
so I told him: a virgin, I assume?
but he bottled it. just issued some flimsy threats
and went chugging off across the car park.

why didn’t I just quit and die?
because I knew then
that I was in for a long slow death of shelf stacking:
my personal cowardice
was my minimum wage contribution
to our collective political cowardice,
stacking shelves in our assisted societal suicide
for years to come.

and besides, it was a payday:
they always solve everything, don’t they?

editors note:

That paycheck suspends us in purchasing purgatory. Be happy. Buy more. (We welcome Tanner to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

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