by Caroline Chavatel

Here we don’t die, we shop.
Because you’re worth it. Here:
the ambient roar that we are
always trying to name like a child
but we fail so we keep coming
back. Here: the skid of carts,
the heaving machine, the rolling
fruit so bright and taut against
the market tiles. Bask in
the artificial light.

The speaker system,
the beeping. Like a good neighbor.
The beeping. Here the coupons
here the milk here—
Here we don’t die, we live.
A Diamond is Forever here
and here dying is an art.
An expensive one. An original.
And here some god
watches us wait in line for salvation
like engines burdening their daily
work. We wonder who will die
first. And outside it all, the birds
chirp to one another in noises
saying, come here.

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