a close call while shopping

pushing my cart through the supermarket
the thought passed through my mind
that I could start
knocking cans from the shelves and
also rolls of towels, toilet paper,
silver foil,
I could throw oranges, bananas, tomatoes
through the air, I could take cans of
beer from the refrigerated section and
start gulping them, I could pull up
women’s skirts and grab their asses,
I could ram my shopping cart through
the plate glass window…

then another thought occured to me:
people generally considering smashing
before they do it.

I pushed my cart along…

a woman in a checkered skirt was
bending over in the pet food section.
I seriously considered grabbing her
but I didn’t, I rolled on

I had the items I needed and I rolled
my cart up to the checkout stand.
a lady in a red smock with a nameplate
awaited me.
the nameplate indicated her as

Robin looked at me:   “how you doing?”
she asked.

“fine,” I told her.

and then she began tabulating my
not in the least knowing that
the fellow standing there before her
had just two minutes ago been
one grab from the

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript