Kevin Roberts strides into the Adidas store
meets a fired-up assistant, spends
US$600 and bounces down Wooster Street.
I buy one pair and want to pump
submachine bullets into a Coke machine.
The holy wars of Pepsi and Coke
or wearing – I’m the victim – the name
of the Grand Inquisitor over my heart
like a sulphur tabard and paying for
the privilege. Simone de Beauvoir wrote
of the desirable purchase and its props
then, unwrapping it to find, deceased
all the ambience of Printemps: the mannequin,
the lighting, the fake cloth autumn leaves
and the crowds that gazed at it. And I –
quelle chance – am privileged to buy it. The
wrapping by the assistant kept up the pretence.
I see her still, all scented obedience
as she bends over fine layers of tissue
ties a ribbon to hook around my finger.
The cynosure of all eyes I leave the store
carrying a chalice: Hermes, Lacoste, Dior
only to get it home and find it’s fled.
Just another coat hanger, un autre jour.
I need to shop again to recover it.
An endless Visa charging of Oh la las
until the cemetery. One brand, my name
upon a stone and the dates I was alive to shop.