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Costco Runs

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

You said, “you can’t paint pictures in the basement all day.”

I listened.

Packed up the oils & reverie.

It marked the first

of many


the artist

was chipped away.

A layered

sort of decay.

Like I forgot to floss,

allowing all the rot of routine

control me;

and I still hear you

harping in my mind,

like a scratched CD,

“The basement is bleak,


with sunken dreams—

there are safer


to be.”

File room clerks

or slicing deli meats,

$9 per hour—

at least the coffee is free.

We were driving to Costco,

passing a car


you could


avoid asking why my lips hung low,

why my pace was slowed.

I replied,

“everything else makes me want to die.”

Your eyes were wide


the drama you didn’t sign up to see.

I would find in time,

how little

you believed

in me.

All you bought

at Costco that day

you already got,

time and time


Shopping the artist out of you

is all you could do

to keep your bloodstream

from screaming at you

to run

from your self-shackled


Then you gently,




shrieked at me

to break my brushes;

clean my messes;

learn my lessons;

bludgeon my art with the barrel of a gun.

Today you told me, “don’t forget to have fun.”

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