It could have been a dream.
They’ve been very realistic,
And I’m having a hard time
Knowing the difference.

I’m never truly awake
Or asleep
Somehow half-alive
In the midway point
Of insanity
And happiness
And the semi-permanent
Jet lag
Now that I know
I’m living on the wrong continent.

Constantly counting
5 hours ahead
On my fingers.

And a grocery store
Is a depressing place
At 10pm
On Sunday night.

Some song was playing
Vaguely reminiscent
Of the 90’s
And it was almost

The aisles
Seemed to stretch
Into infinity
Row after row
Of flavored frostings
And frozen pizzas.

And I’m constantly fatigued
Always in pain
Even a little
And I find myself dizzy
At inappropriate times

Like alone,
In a store

And catching wandering eyes
Of strangers
In polo shirts
Stocking shelves.

Excuse me
While I lean here
A minute.

The barcode scanner goes:
Potato chips
Onion dip
Baby carrots
Emphasizing the loneliness
The defining singularity
Of grocery shopping
For one.

I don’t want to be here, either,
I almost tell the cashier.

But it doesn’t really matter.

So I sit in my car
And light a cigarette
I can’t afford

To prolong going home to
The quiet,
The emptiness.

I can go a whole day
Never uttering a word.

But I’ll put it in gear,
Pull in the driveway.
Wash my hair.

Try not to think about tomorrow.
Is all I know.

At least I have chips now.