maybe baby corn and brussels sprouts
are the adolescent punks of the produce section.
and plantains must be their gang leader, a napoleon complex
like no other. recruiting their army of disenchanted youth, hazing
the broccolini and baby spinach for member ship.
and i could see them after hours, when the florescent lights die down,
after the custodial crew has left, before every one is showered for the night
in the fine mist
of fluoride, bleach, turpentine.
i suppose they sneak out to tag the organic section
with pesticides. scrawling "grow a pair hippie" or "wilt this". on
their untarnished skin. crossing
the lines of street corners, the neatly divided sections of town
to expand their turf, changing labels to prove they're tough enough,
to fuck with shoppers the next day long. 'cause after all, who can really tell
the difference between swiss chard or mustard greens, bokchoy or kale?
too young to know any better. they swap out, "buy local" stickers
with chiquita and dole; certainly worth the laugh.
and the way to earn their bar codes,
tattooed proof of their acceptance. and in the morning
if they don't get picked they won't care why. it's certainly a
whether it be cart by shootings,
or simply withering out to die. so few, make
it out to the grotto.