The week after Thanksgiving and the stores are decked out
for holiday shopping, including a T.J. Maxx, where what was
once too expensive loses its value and attracts us, there is a
store with a big yellow banner proclaiming GIANT BOOK SALE,
a seasonal operation carrying remaindered books, which doesn’t mean
that the books aren’t good, only that the great machinery
of merchandising didn’t engage its gears in quite the right way,
and I buy two books of poetry and am leaving the store, the first snowstorm
of the winter on the way, and as I get to the glass double doors
a bearded man with a cane is entering, he has been walking
with a woman who is continuing on to another store, and he
has a look that could make him either eccentrically brilliant
or just plain simple, and as I open one door and he opens the other
he turns and says, “I love you,” not to me but calling back to his
friend who is departing, only he’s said it looking at me, closest
to me, which is unintended love, random love, love that
should be spread throughout the world, shouted in our ears for free.