Shopping For Love

Shopping for Love.

Paul Manchester

Is love an item I put on a list
With pasta, bananas, and wine?
Can something so dear hide with pretzels and beer –
just “LOVE –  on sale for $9.99”
Would I find it with apples, or condoms, or fish,
with spices for some sort of rare foreign dish?
With TicTacs and tabloids while standing in line?
Will it be at check-out with no time to dine?

A something for which I must actively shop?
Or something I’ll stumble upon?
When out and about will I suddenly stop –
will I see it before it is gone?
Is it out in the open or hidden away?
Will I find it with words or with nothing to say
to the stock boy in aisle 21?

Just when will this shopping ever be done?

Perhaps I should cross love off of my list?
I can’t seem to find it in stock.
I might live just as long… without being kissed.
Could early death merely be talk?
But if shorter life in those studies is real
and someone who lives everyday with love’s meal
lives longer than I, then I must confess
that shopping for love need have some success.

Is love fragile like eggs, or fattening like cake?
Will it melt like ice cream, or perish like steak
if I don’t rush it home, will it quickly go bad?
Will it carry diseases that make me go mad?
Will it stay fresh if kept in the cold?
If I add warmth, will it grow mold?
Or with lots of directions and very small print,
will I find that it’s ruined without sprigs of mint.
Or canned and safe till I open the seal
with only 3 days to exist as a meal.

If I find something like, should I just get it?
Perhaps what I want is not to be found,
and Love can’t be bought by cash, check or credit.
Perhaps I should settle for Lust by the pound?

Yet, ‘tis not what I crave as I look at the clock,
I’ll push my cart forward and hope it’s in stock.
With my heart in my cart and one wheel in denial
I’m still in the store… I just need the aisle.

December 2008

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