New York Sailor: An Apple

A tall sailor-striped woman
swam into sight, sailing-in
high on high heels
towards the promotional stand of
one-pound apples bagged in
stacks of twelve behind me:

they were on offer and all they were offering her was a reason to be out of the house.

It was late on a Monday night
and the light from the supermarket
framed her eyes in a red halo of,
my back-home boyfriend hits me where the t-shirts cover up;
t-shirt sleeves hiding bruised skin
and questions raised by the authorities.

From the pictures falling from
her on-the-floor-purse
art college was not long back,
and the wedding ring tacked to her fourth finger
was a decision made in a thin-air conversation
on a back-of-the-pub chair.

She didn’t want to be there buying apples,
she wanted to be back wearing double denim
dungarees on top of her building looking south
towards the Financial District at sunset.
She wanted a cat, a full length mirror,
bric-and-brac baking bowls bought from the Bowery,
she wanted to get high in the afternoon and
read books about space flight,
have her palms read by sweetcheeked con-artist mystics
whose stock phrase was, and will always be,
'in the next six months you'll meet the one',
she wanted to look after the pets of friends when they worked,
she wanted to steal paint from the store,
hide in hallways to waste time
and eat whatever and whenever in order to
make her waist Nigella-round-
something she could never achieve now,

but instead she was fingering her way through
the one pound apples stacked to the side behind me
in the Wakefield ASDA on a Monday night.