I Saw the Face of Capitalism

I saw the face of Capitalism
working on commission.

Out front Holt Renfrew
in the trendy part
of town.

Mrs. Morrison, Mrs. Morrison
it whined pathetically
as it slimed down the street
in pursuit
like a snail up a garden fence
or an eel
on grocery store
ice.

Mrs. Morrison, Mrs. Morrison,
it slithered hand over fist
over consecutive break your mother's
backs
and even though I was only eight
years old
I remember hating this little
man.

All sweaty
and veiny
and reeking of greed,

Capitalism must have already weighed
in excess of 450 lbs
but it wanted
more.

It needed more
to survive.

Like lice
or leeches
or something in need
of a host,
it needed to feed
and I had to look
away.

I remember stepping back
against the curb
as my rich aunt reassured Capitalism
that she was not done spending
and would be back in the city
next April

to spend
a small fortune
on belts
and bras
and jewels
and garments...

Capitalism's eyes got so big
and round
when she said she'd only ask
for Claude.

Cards switched hands
and some talk
about the weather.

I remember
an exchange of laughter
so plastic
a water bottle could
sing.

 

Red Fez. Issue 26 (Spring 2010).

© Ryan Quinn Flanagan