Don’t Pretend I Own a Llama
Twenty-six dollars for hair gel?
Look at my flyway hair—
do I use hair gel? You claim
I charged it. But your tiny shop
doesn’t extend credit to people
like me, and I always pay cash.
Your slinky little smile fails
to convict me. I owe nothing
but marriage, children, a mortgage
slightly larger than a stadium’s.
You’ve arranged your merchandise
to entrap me in narrow aisles
my bulk can’t safely negotiate.
Like a cruise ship run aground,
I stall between a wire rack hung
with foil bags of freeze-dried food
and a table laden with cashmere
bathrobes in enormous sizes.
I want to reach the shelves of clay
and plastic pots. My personal
catnip farm requires more effort:
the cats whine for lack of drugs.
They rotate their ears and roll
their agate eyes and regard me
as little better than prey. You claim
I arrived drunk and demanded
hair gel for my llama. You know
I don’t keep a llama in the field
behind my house. Only one
sad donkey braying for a mate.
No one gels a donkey, even drunk.
Don’t give me that fatuous smile,
your winsome little body clenched
like a grenade. Help me escape
this narrow aisle. Call the fire
brigade if you must; but don’t
pretend I own a llama,
and don’t laugh so loudly
at my flyway but honest hair.