©Cutting Your Teeth A Second Time

empty market

What was the point in trying
to cut your teeth a second
or third time with the
online dating market?
All that was left for us
were the Reduced To Clear
and the Sell By dates had
expired months ago.

You’re a virgin only once.

For days before I entered
any store, I was resigned
to never finding what I want.
And, when I entered the
local market, I never
expected to feel as though
I had missed the party.
I found my mind racing
as I wandered around
the desolate market
while enduring the
pains of my hunger.
I wandered the empty aisles…
maybe for half of an hour…
thinking perhaps
everyone already knew
something I did not
and that was why they
hurried up and down
the bare lanes with
lists in their hands.

Some shoppers were only
slightly hungry and wanted
a snack or two for the short
term; other snackers wanted
something to satisfy them
for the entire day. I
was on the hunt for all of
the ingredients for a meal
to sustain me and provide
leftovers for the long haul.
But the shelves were bare,
the best of the best and even
the barely best were gone. I
suspected they would be.

I should have left, not
because it was closing time;
the store was open twenty-four/
seven/three hundred
sixty-five. All the time
in the world was not enough
for most of us find what
we were searching for.

I wanted the best meal
but all that was left was
Spam.
So much Spam. It was
impossible to see anything
else for all the Spam.
And hummus.
There was an aisle
dedicated to hummus.
Love is hummus—
apparently.
Funny that since I
don’t like it all that much.

I was so awfully hungry
for something resembling
hummus. Way too
hungry to make
decent purchase decisions.
I watched desperate
shoppers grabbing anything
in sight…cans of beans…
as I left the market.

I wondered, is there
hummus out here?
That’s what I wanted.
Hummus.
Fresh hummus.
Not hummus touched
by hundreds of hands
turning it over to
reveal the expiration date
and replace it on the shelf.

Love is not stale or
bitter or dying from
an expiration date.
Love is sweet, full of life.
You don’t have to
cut your teeth on
Love the second time around.

Mimi Wolske
All Rights Reserved

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