Retail Poem by Doug Tanoury

Retail Egyptology

In the supermarket
Where navel oranges are stacked high
With great precision
Like the great pyramid of Gaza,
And Santa Rosa plums
Form a lesser monument
For a more mediocre monarch
In The Valley of the Kings.

I am the jackal -faced god,
A duster of old bones
And petrified flesh,
Who breathes the desert air
At 5:00 a.m. and peers wearily
Over the meat counter,
For a fleeting glimpse
Of the floating head
Of Queen Nefertiti
In hopes her regal gaze
Will fall on my English cut roast.

Awake Osiris to the sound
Of the Nile’s water
And sea birds calling from the reeds
To catch the gleam of light
On stainless steel countertops
For it is the deli meats
Hanging in long strands from the ceiling,
Indeed it is the garlic bologna and hard salami
That unites the upper and lower kingdoms.

(c) Doug Tanoury 2002