Charles Bukowski
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, grab their asses,
I could ram my shopping cart through
the plate-glass window...

then another thought occurred to me:
people generally consider something
before they do it.

I pushed my cart along...

a woman in a checkered skirt was
bending over 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

©Linda Lee Bukowski - used with permission