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Anarchists Write

Why I Shop

by E. C. Archibeque

I shop to fill the hole
I shop because
Nancy Reagan can
and the homeless cannot
because Kerouac drank
and Burroughs was a lousy shot

I shop because
for that sixty seconds
while I'm deciding
between black and white
South Africa does not exist
Plath dances
and King lives

I shop because
Cash is King
and maybe, if I spend enough
I'll be tall and thin and blonde
and dumb enough to believe that's perfect
and the contras are freedom fighters
and Dan Quayle would've fought
and $15 a month to Greenpeace
is enough to save the world

I shop because
if I stop shopping, I'll start thinking
six-year-old girls molested by their teachers
and five-year-old boys set on fire by their fathers
and my brothers and sisters tortured daily
for not being white

I shop because
I don't drink or drug myself into forgetting

and now I have:
a dress dyed red in Biko's blood
a hat the same gray as Kennedy's brains on the Dallas street
a scarf the pink of babies' skin laying in trash cans

I shop

I shop and have bought
the sins of my fathers
and wear them around like chains


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