Thursday, January 8, 2009

Friday at the Market

I’ll go for the two pound pork loin
The one in the back
A half pound of red peppers
A half pound of mixed olives, the gorgonzola crumble
Parmesan and Romano mix, so how’s biz?
Looks like Friday’s quiet.
Larry of the red tama Shan hat and wireless glasses says
Just wait and he adjusts his glasses, leans an elbow
on the display case at eye level
Between the mozzarella and salted mozzarella
Don’t give me no trouble, he says, raising his voice
What trouble, who gives trouble, I say
I’ll go for the mild Italian sausage, two please
I was thinking prosciutto but now it’s sausage
You would, he says and I watch his hand dive into the glass case
and flip up two nice ones
What else and he sets them on the scale
steps back and presses the buttons
Up comes red numbers 1.2 pounds $3.71 and he rolls them in wrap
Marietta, the Puerto Rican woman with pulled back black hair waves
Good to see you. Where you been?
She flirts a hair and knows I know
We talked about her high cholesterol last time in
Now she returns to the provolone cheese
in the eye of her customer, a short woman with gray hair
and tiny hands
Meat pie, grape leaves, stuffed cabbage, no
I’ll make my own I think while
Larry rolls the sausage in white paper, tags it
Sets it on the display top with both hands
Thank you he says, for the trouble
and I say, That’s fine.
Larry’s pale blue eyes recede to the next customer.
Twelve he says, thirteen and he’s gone
Marietta talking to a man standing over the chicken breast at the other end
I stick my sausage in the green basket with the rest
and move into the pasta aisle, the rice, the capers,
the frozen sauce to my right and down
past the bake shop to the right of the register
The engagement's off, I say to Nancy from Queens
and she laughs as she always does
See how you are?” she smiles
Her small teeth delight the bright morning
She rings up two tomatoes, sweet onion,
brussel sprouts, Romaine lettuce the, two foot bunch of basil
I’ll make pesto for a month and the rest.
Yeah, I see, but, it’s true love, I say.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, pressing the bills and the change into my hand
she slides the plastic bags. my way and we wink,
without winking and I step outside
into another good day.

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