Publixing Together On My Own

Publixing Together: On My Own

I went to Publix, on my own, today,
Doing the thing that has always
Been our us-time Saturday outing—
On my own. 
    And-also, with you—
Proxied-us together. 

Just a few weeks ago, I went to a
Different Publix in a different town, 
With my Pop, on my own,
With my Pop, after church—
Post-praise, pre-chemo, gameday
With the family, extended. 
We picked up hot wings and fixin’s:
Baked beans and mayonnaise-y slaw:
King’s Hawaiians and 

Just a few months ago, I went to a 
Different Publix in a different town,
With my bud, on my own,
With my bud, after drinking—
After shots, after Red Bull, after
Killing time with strangers.
We picked up tonic and ice cream:
Chips, chocolate, and chocolate chips:
All the things to sate
Tipsy-stapled munchies.

And those whose visits, 
On their own, without pretense,
Enrich our own:
The cricked man reaching for nightlights:
Reached and value-advised;
The near-sighted widow squinting at expiry-
Dates, back-row reach-and-grabbed;
The single mom, hungry-child-laden, pinching 
Coin and finding lost tens near her feet;
The lonely kitty queens choosing Fancy pâté Feasts
Collecting knowing, loving strangers’ smiles. 
On their own, and not:
Hungry and sated:
Alone, proxied with us. 

Just a few years ago, we went to our
Favorite neighborhood Publix—Publixing—
Just you and me, me and you,
You and me , together—
Post-vows: Saturday routine, honey-
Mooned. As always, our best next step.
Picking up the basics and usuals:
Two-percent, Ruffles, cat food, Rebel IPA, 
Mojo chicken, and wine:
Satisfied until
The next guaranteed trip. 

One day, later, or sooner maybe,
Publix trips will aisle differently:
Green scales, digits-halved: half-weighted.
Nightlights covering empty-darked 
Flickering loneliness. 
Sipping on week-passed milk, when,
      Even a quart is too much. 
Pinching own pennies, outliving
      You and our savings. 
Feasts for doted-upon kittens’ purrs
    Filling rainbow’d paw paths. 
On our own, and not:
Hungry and sated:
Alone, a proxied us.

You’ll go to Publix, on your own, one day—
      Or I will—
Doing the thing that had always
Been our us-time Saturday outing:
On your own—
       Or I will—
           And-also with you—
Publixing together. 



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