What Am I Composed Of

Paul Hlava

I buy valentine beans because
they're cheaper than snowcap peas.
My grocer pushes wedges
of rare Trinidadian cheese
which I learn later is Monterey Jack.
I eat all the Portuguese sardines prices allow.
My belly sits atop my buckle
like tripe spilled across a tiny golden plate
engraved with dueling eagles. When I sweat
my palms smell like roasted red peppers.
I return from the grocer's with a full paper bag:
almond milk, cilantro, papaya nectar (1/2 off)
and a ring of cocktail shrimp.
The grocer has nicknamed me Con Carne.
He watches Gloria with the eyes
of a man being strangled to death
in the balcony of the opera.
When she smiles, I pocket a stalk of celery.