Notes from El Valle Megamart

Notes from El Valle Megamart | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Courtesy of heacphotos/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).


Sister Juanita buys cherry flavored
Lip gloss for the girls
Apple bubble gum for the boys
The lord’s prayer
Smells like a fruit stand
Under the summer sun
Across the border in Progresso.

I have wet dreams about the Brawny man.
He wipes everything clean when we are done.

You buy your produce
At my checkout again
Pants bulging
In all the right places
$5.25 in change
One nickel
Two dimes
Four quarters
One, two, three
One dollar bills
Fingers touch fingers, touch
Ball of hand
Slide hand into tight jean pocket
Smile back.

I think of Ginsberg when I see you.
     “what peaches
     and what penumbras!”

Do you know Ginsberg?
Can I read to you?

     “aisles full of husbands!
     wives in the avocados,
     babies in the tomatoes!”

While you pound me?



While I pound you,
golden sunflower?
in the alley
behind the rusty yellow dumpster
after the store shuts off
its rows of arrogant lights,

But before
Los Locos and la chota start to cruise
Before the car with la movida
Claims the cracked cement.

Rice and beans!
What a couple!

I found an open box of condoms on aisle 4
I found a used pregnancy test in the women’s restroom
I guess the digital smiley face result meant yes.
I found a bag of green apples in the gardening department
I found two had been bitten once
I didn’t find any rattlers or culebras hiding in the aisles today.
I found a boy with his hand down his pants in the lingerie department
I found his father with his hand down a cashier’s pants in the restroom
The mother I found holding up a magazine at the checkout line
Her hands protected by green rubber gloves.