Jesus H, he says,
then he says it again. He looks
sweet in a merchandised way,
like a butterfly decal
on the rear windshield on a car
ahead of me that I can’t pass,
irritating for his actions not his
nature. I can’t discern his nature,
obviously. He’s standing in front of
an endcap table in a discount store,
raging at the children’s books
piled there in no particular way.
I know it’s here, he says. Jesus H,
why can’t they shelve these? It’s
one book they have, I saw it yesterday,
would have bought it then if I’d known
it would look like this today. I ask myself
how could he know it would be different
today? Then again, how could he not know?
Things pile up. The children’s stories
get lost in the piles. Your butterfly decal
don’t mean shit compared to the fascist state
and Jesus H gave up a long time ago.
Rage all you want. This is literature
in front of you. It’s not supposed to be
anything except a mess. Whose world
do you think you live in, old chum?
I realize my fists are clenched so hard
I’m almost bleeding from the dents
in my palms. Chill, I tell myself.
Jesus H, who do you think you are
that this man should matter this much
to you or to anyone other than his family?
They probably bought him the damn decal.
He probably put it there
to placate his granddaughter. And you’re
making that up, anyway. You have no idea
what he drives, if he drives. He sure doesn’t
seem sweet. What are you looking for,
I ask him? He names a book, I help him look,
it’s not there, maybe it was bought I said,
he agrees and that’s it. Nothing sweeter
than that: two old guys lamenting
a world without satisfaction. Jesus H,
I tell myself. I walk away, relieved
that so little was demanded of me today
Daily Archives: December 17, 2021
Jesus H, he says,