Jesse Lee Kercheval

The Grocer Is Singing Songs of Love

Listen: he has given up

counting his change, his potatoes.

He offers me a pot full of flowers,

throws his doors open

to the sunlight, the rain.

And I am thinking —

why not us too?

With us, the always same

fixed round of worries,

stations of the cross done

on our knees. You, the blind man

with the tin cup,

Me, the fish wife, whose fingers

scrape, scrape that old bone.

What a pity.

For twenty years, this is me,

this is you. Why?

Where the grocer walks,

let us walk too.

Walk from your parked car

to the heat of my heart,

leave the ice, the chapped hands,

of the old life behind us.

Let us go somewhere

so warm we never

need woolens or mittens,

where there is nothing

that cannot be done naked.

Open your door, listen,

I’m singing to you.