Poetry

White Guy in an Asian Supermarket

Photo Credit: tubblesnap. Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA.
Photo Credit: tubblesnap.
Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA.
Ranch Market 99.
The new Asian superstore!
As the white guy enters,
Pushing his cart, he sees
there’s no need to worry
God’s imagination’s running dry.

Great ships still dock in San Francisco, LA, New York.
Fishing boats throw up their catch.
Tropical produce is hauled
in containers raised onto trucks,
unloaded, and arranged
in these exotic mountains.

Dragon fruit stares in his face,
red, something from a dream.
A dozen kinds of mushrooms
from a dozen fairy tales.
Strange stalks he’s never seen,
with names he’s never heard:
Ngami,
Boc-ha,
Gabo.
Pink pummelo, like grapefruit
blown up with a pump.
Banana flower buds.

In the seafood section
dozens of black bass
tread water in a crowded tank
next to a roomier one
swimming with silver carp.
In a third, big-eyed jumbo shrimp,
looking wise, have fun
dive-bombing to the depths,
then letting themselves be carried
back up by the tank’s water jets.

Signs say “Fish Paste” and “Soak Squid”—
more pleasant dissonance!
Two dozen fish species lay
on ice, as though sun-bathing.

It’s morning. The aisles
are just beginning to
awaken with questing shoppers.

America’s new face, he thinks
as he pays and goes outside.
And for a little while, what he sees there
is also a strange bazaar.


Max is also the author of a recently published book of poems, Journey from here to HERE, which can be ordered online. To view more of Max’s writing, plus his artwork, visit his website.