Escape and Pterodactyls in The Supermarket at Sandornam

Pushing past compulsion
To visit a favored cocoon
A place called Dbar
I circled the dingy dark
Neighborhood

Rain and snow combining
To create a third element
Of hellishly cold
Falling
Late winter Black slush

Block by block
Stocking the streets
For distraction,
Until eyeing the poorly-light
Poorly-advertised Supermarket

It looks new, I thought,
And very strange!
Not a chain, that’s obvious.
With signs written in black ink
By fastidious hand
Welcoming new customers
In English, Vietnamese, and Spanish

A foreign world inside
Of freshly caught fish and fowl
Of all shapes and sizes and colors
On tall heaps of newly chipped dull-white Ice
Of fruits and vegetables
Of all shapes and sizes and colors
In home-crafted wooden bins

A middle-aged Latino man
Stocking shelves
Who spoke no English
Like Carol Merrill with outstretched Digits
Demonstrating today’s showcase
Of cash and valuable prizes
Highlighted the location
Of what felt like too many tiny cans Of jugo
Marked in quoc ngu

But no usual infinite array
Of designer glass-bottled hybrid Combinations
Of organic blueberry, cranberry
And Pomegranate juices
Like the ones on display
At Whole Foods’ and Foody’s

A checkout lady not days shy of 80 With blue black hair
A vulnerable, warm, welcoming smile
Noticeably very few teeth
And even less English
So when did you open?
I asked,
Only slightly invested in the answer

She responded with lightning speed
Left Pointer-finger shooting into Midair
Shrugged shoulders
Opening her mouth to repeat
Performance
Of the inviting Facial maneuvering
Of flexed Muscles near each end
of Her Meager mouth
Modeling her one remaining
cracked Yellowed front tooth sharpened by time

I understood she didn’t understand
But then in as high-pitched a screech
As your ears can imagine
One that made my face pucker in on Itself
Like only biting into one of Micky’s Very Green very aged sour pickles
Can Succeed in replicating

In an Asian language
Surmised to be Vietnamese,
A high-pitched guttural male voice
Echoed from the balcony
Overlooking the accidentally-Arranged Pushcarts
Of the town square’s vendors’ Market
Somewhere between San Juan and Hanoi

Mimicking shrieking bellows
Of incoming Pterodactyls
In the deep dark jungles
Of Saturday mornings’ animation:
Johnny Quest
In heavily-austroasiatic-accented English,
Responds:
DecembeL !

Now better understood
Its method of communication
The lingua franca of this singular Dimension
Between Dot Ave and WW St.

The driving impulse broken
My attention now shifted
From the desire
To escape
Life’s angst
To this strange and present moment

To the impossible possibilities
Of Marriage
Among fish, fruit, fowl, vegetable,
The residents of Sandornam
And the momentary reprieve
From the seduction of
My impending Departure

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