swinging a credit card like a scythe
through the meadows of golden merchandise.
today is the day she stops looking at faces
and starts assessing the labels of purses;
so let it begin. let her be dipped in the dazzling bounty
and raised and wrung out again and again.
and let us watch.
as the gods in olden stories
turned mortals into laurel trees and crows
to teach them some kind of lesson,
so we turned into americans
to learn something about loneliness.
// excerpt from "at the galleria shopping mall" by tony hoagland
found in the july/august 2009 issue of 'poetry' magazine