Lily – Name symbolizing innocence, purity
Into the Marketplace with My Sister Lily
Wednesday afternoon, the leaves of autumn-shades from
your favorite waiting spot for me flickered down
and paved the path from your elementary to the gnarring vehicle.
Careless and oblivious as you they fell, broken dry chocolate
stem no longer fitted, from the sappy branch to the cold ground,
having been prepared by early October. Unknown to you,
a first date for that night had called for a gourmet dining
and a stop at the market before you would be safe at home.
“Where are we going?” you asked, as if having never before seen
a grocery store. When you entered you shivered in a manufactured
gust between the machine doors, your hand had been stuck
to mine since we left walking and then it began to tighten.
Through freezing aisles and drowning rows of wines,
overcome by slippery condiments and cornered by
cholesterol-conscious cereals, through my fingers I felt your
eyes widen and your face shrink mute as you were captivated;
some finger had touched your mouth and turned you off.
I remembered how you feel. It wasn’t the mass or number
that intimidated – it was the impact of the new cinnamon
stink from the mood candles’ wax, the sinister grin of the blood-
velvet erotic-devil costume, the repugnant surprise of the old hag’s
sampled cheese on your tongue as the lobster tank erupted its
humming stench across your little nose. But it was this dirty sea scene
that first tore our limb, as you pressed against the glass, one hand
holding out the smell and one greeting their graphic shapes – all
mounted atop each other’s slimy bodies, passionate and lustful
red young claws, soaking in all the steamy water into their
bony-stiff carapace and leather-fleshy brown skin. They seduced
and held you against them for the entirety of the transaction, until
the inexorable hand appeared and pierced the murky surface,
sinking and hunting, sinking and hunting. I watched the panic
and confusion color your face and stood helpless as yourself
before the invincible grizzly man and his sloppy apron;
he plucked a part
of you out of the water.
Clacking and pinching the creature was packed
into its shock of ice and handled to me in a bag stapled
with paper and ink. Your soft bitty hands yearned up to me again,
but had been usurped by the candles and the lobster.
I couldn’t bear to have you walk behind,
and to watch your little shoes join my tailing shadow.
I tried to forget our pang and never reveal the beast,
but I knew you were aware and cold hands would always outlast.