Let Me Out by Rich Boucher

There’s so much red in all the Target stores and I don’t understand it. What are they trying to do to people? I’m sorry about yesterday; I’m sorry I told you that I didn’t like you anymore and that I wasn’t going to split the cost of the snacks with you; it seems like every time I go into a Target I get really angry. Why do they have to fill the place with so much red color? Why do they want to do this to me? I don’t even know why we were there and I don’t know that anybody knows why they go there. I think we were there to either buy some ginger ale and a chair, or a picture frame, or you needed to get some tampons or I needed a video game and some aspirin or else we needed to buy the idea that our future was going to be ok or else we wanted to find out if it was possible to have church anywhere or else have some dessert or else hold me now but all I could see was red. That bright angry red that says you’re not leaving here until you buy some electronics and Milano cookies. That sweating tomato on the vine, shaking and about to burst like a throbbing brain, those holly berries like little crazy eyes. They make me think I’m capable of terrible things. Those red stone spheres in front of the Target give me the bad dream feeling that I’m going to lose control and become the first man who ever lived and donkeypunch someone’s grandmother on the stairs, chainsaw everything in half. Every other breath I take in that place is an exasperated sigh and I want to chokeslam an elderly greeter right into the wall. Target makes me feel like I’m about to learn how dangerous nature can be, in the way that cavemen found out which of the colored sweets were the deadly berries. I feel like I’m about to be the dangerous nature when I’m there. All of that murder everywhere, all of that Target welling up inside of me like bile. I feel like I’m about to dropkick the nearest dachshund into next week. I can see myself backing over a soccer mom with my car because I don’t want to check the rear-view mirror for fear of seeing all of that exciting goddamned merchandise in my eyes. I can’t believe how big my eyebrows are. All that bright emergency ambulance red in the signs over every aisle, all that infuriating red has become a pulse in my skull and I want to leap over the counter and go after that cashier with his stupid bloody shirt and his way-too-tight khakis. I can’t stop thinking about it once I start. Am I in a Target now? Is that where I am? I need to get the hell out of here.
Rich Boucher resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Rich served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee, and also as a member of the 2014 Albuquerque City Slam Team. Currently a freelance staff writer for the ABQ Free Press, his poems have appeared in Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, Catching Calliope, The Mas Tequila Review, Menacing Hedge, New Bourgeois, Cultural Weekly, and MultiVerse, among others, and he has work forthcoming in Damfino Press and The Harpoon Review.

5 thoughts on “Let Me Out by Rich Boucher

  1. rosellen says:

    like this very much. a good example of what goes on in the material world


  2. alexisrhonefancher says:

    It is always a pleasure to read Rich Boucher’s fine work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rich Boucher’s poem speaks so directly to similar, although not identical, responses I have had to the experience of shopping. Muzak, rather than the color red, tends to be my trigger. Thank you, Yellow Chair Review, for your vision and work.


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