A shuffle and he's there -
whirligig on a cancerous leg.
He's left the door gaping,
cold-sopped air slapping.

He spins amidst the goods
clacking his dentures, reports
the gold-eyed viper rattles
after him in every aisle.

Empty basket to checkout,
he bedevils - Can he stand
on his head? Will he die soon?
Is it illegal to complain?

Snake's tensing. I tell him
his questions
are outlawed
in all fifty states.

Feb 1, 1982 John Goss