The city has sex with everyone.
Sex with Kroger.
All over the city, along the white-paint lines that separate parked cars,
parking lots are unzipping.
Between the lines the cars begin to bounce a bit, like babies,
and from the white lines as they widen and crack and split
a milky fescue grows, reedy wet pathways, little streams
roseate with lilies, and the streams uprift the concrete
in grand dispersing E-shapes, and now across the lot
the broken lines extend until they meet—
the cars are islanded, really bouncing now
and Kroger opens all its doors—
there's a big sale on—
"big sale" is how the Kroger understands itself to be consenting
to the city tendril-tunneling its homeless homefree energy into the produce wing—
the products rapt and blooming breaking open—
plastic wrap unravels on the floor—a cashier lies down in an expanding crack—
the milk in there is geothermal warm,
it bathes the cashier's nipples,
he wafts his hands along the reeds like baby Moses
and the Pharaoh's daughter who discovers him is fluorescent light
reshaping itself (now that the ceiling's gone) into a floating peaceful missile
congealed of all the city people's formerly constrained mutual care.
Their energy makes the fluorescence glow like an oil puddle
ridged in night and sun and opaque peacock fur
until the love missile (which is Pharaoh's daughter flow-light)
sparks like an old engine
and ducks and dives
plays with its comet mates
caresses them in cloud and basking sun
and then remembers the cashier
and lowers its soft missilic body and takes him
into its foggy spider-lightning womb
he closes his eyes
and plans to lead the people
but the cloud-missile says rest
and they listen to percussion
rows of imprisoned foodlike items
exploding in a fireworky mess, and the stray dogs
who lap at Kroger's floor, soft-tonguing, and chew her meat.
Author Bio: Catherine Wagner is author of Nervous Device (City Lights, 2012) and other books. Recent work appears in Chicago Review, Lana Turner and Journal of Poetics Research. She teaches at Miami University.