Thanksgiving, just past midnight in a 24-hour Walmart,
one checkout lane open for last-minute purchases.
My sister recounts her boss’s recurring stys
as we amble to the point of sale to buy pie crust.
Nothing good happens in Walmart at this time of night.
That’s why they lock all but one entrance,
where a cop stands guard, rests hand on gun.
This environment invites a kind of gravity that sucks
in all beings who would trespass solemnity and privacy.
Sensing too much levity in our conversation,
a woman inserts herself in our talk. To fix a sty,
put some baby piss on the eye.
The kind of wisdom that holds you hostage
until you hear every part of the ritual,
she monologues the remedy: the sterility
of baby piss, eye droppers to apply
the baby piss in the eye. In a 24-hour Walmart
just past midnight,
it has to be piss. Wet floor in electronics,
a man who troubles the door cop with a soaked crotch,
cure for what ails. Not even newborn innocence prevails
in the shallows of shoppers who forget the pie crust.
A new lane opens to admit a mother who balances
her infant and a box of diapers, so brave to flaunt
a diaper so full of magical elixir.
We wade toward the conveyor, now aficionados
of baby piss and baby piss applications,
graced by this evangelist
who finally notices she vacuumed all our interest
in continuing to talk to each other or even nod and smile
in response to the advice. The baby cries.
To plant a last seed of wisdom as we pay, the sage mutters,
mhmm, the best fix. Just a drop of baby piss.