A Supermarket in Suburban Los Angeles

The fat mother and her seven kids
are bee stings into my ears
near the arsenic-laced juice aisle

gasping for air to scream at

The meth-headed rocker is spending far too much
time perusing the gray discount cans of soup,
leaving me to stand here amongst the adult diapers

the assistant manager asks me if I need special help

there’s no special world seasonings here
just good old American beer and meat
beef spread out like a crime scene

potatoes gleaming steely-eyed skins

Mother wants me to buy twenty
fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts
and two dozen cans of dog food

for the outdoor cats

There’s no kombucha, no falafel here
just fish sticks and vodka,
and skyscrapers of mayonnaise

coupled with bottles of Jose Cuervo

I cry to you, Ginsberg and Whitman
to scare away the Bible-thumpers
bellowing outside the sliding doors

write them out of existence

I’ll buy a scratch-off lottery ticket
from the whizzing drunken machine
and watch the sneers of the ATM yuppies

wearing too many polo shirts for me to breathe

My huarache sandals are seceding from my feet
underneath the sun of this SUV-laden parking lot
screaming for me to come to my senses

in this horrifying all-American town

Kevin Ridgeway is a writer from Southern California, where he resides in a shady bungalow with his girlfriend and their one-eyed cat. Recent work has appeared in Underground Voices, scissors and spackle, Quantum Poetry Magazine and Gutter Eloquence Magazine. Ridgeway’s chapbook Burn through Today is now available from Flutter Press.

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