Trio Anomie

by Gary Hardaway

Sunny Sunday Morning in May

The younger woman with the cute
Corgi out for a mid-morning walk
knows but pretends not to notice
I am twenty feet from her here,
leaning on my patio wall. Not

a  “Hi”, a wave, or even a nod.
We deny one another, here,
as long as it's plausible. We
are all the Other it's easier
to ignore than to greet.

Some Other People of Walmart

We eschew the corporate fuckery
of self-checkout and choose
a vestige of human interaction
that is the 20 items or less line.

We clutch our flavorless produce
and small domestic appliances
sold for less than Kroger and Target
and endure the Pidgin English

of a recent legal immigrant in
exchange for actual eyes and speech
and another's hands dropping our stuff
into the next waiting bag

of the plastic bag carousel.
We can at least argue with
a human face if the tally exceeds
our parsimonious expectations.

Saturday Afternoon

When you drink alone,
you drink a lot more
and feel a lot less
of the small euphoria
alcohol is famous for.

The rain comes down
and washes the dust and oily  
residue into gutters to contaminate
the streams. The horror
of consciousness never ends.