Monday, November 23, 2015

poem of the day 11.23.15

grand opening

there is never a customer
in the liquor store when i pass

two months and they still have
the grand opening banners
going across their marquee

people in this neighborhood
maybe they don’t drink

i was in there once when it was under old management

the russian woman who owned it
sold bottom shelf vodka that tasted like water
so i never went back

they’ve got the place fancy now
this young asian couple

full shelves and wine tastings on the weekend

but they have no customers
save this one dark skinned chinese dude
who tried to steal from them

they have his picture taped to the window
with the word theft written at the bottom like an autograph

people in this neighborhood
maybe they need to steal more than drink

still i feel bad for them
i’m empathetic at odd and random moments

every day when i walk by
to go to the other liquor store closer to my home
i watch them sitting in there
two lonely people on their cell phones
trying to make something for themselves in this world

i wonder if they’ve noticed
that the grand opening signs are starting to fade?

well, yesterday i finally went in there
thought i’d be the good samaritan
and throw a little hard earned money their way

they really have improved the place
they don’t even sell that bottom shelf vodka anymore

they’ve got wines from france
with write-ups telling me they’re bold and juicy
with write-ups that make me want to believe

i grab a cab-heavy bottle and take it to the counter
try to hand it to one of the young entrepreneurs

but he waves me off
starts screaming at his wife who’s playing on her cell phone

she pulls the bottle out of my hand
rings it up like she wants to go twelve rounds with the register

slams the bottle on the counter
tosses my change like it’s infested

then goes back to playing on her cell phone
while he keeps shouting and i gather my things and leave

thinking, gee, i hope this wine tastes as good
as they made it sound

otherwise i might have to go back
to the place i usually go

where the guy doesn’t even acknowledge my existence
and he’s been around for at least eight years.


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