Ma’at visits the supermarket on a Wednesday


This is where an ostrich feather
lands in a pyramid of oranges.
Women pluck at my wing, missing
their own wrists, hands heartmuscle

heavy, like a butcher’s thumb
on the scale, or a purloined
grapefruit. A toddler wanders
through the miasma of wilted

lettuce, scuffed tile. What
leads him to tug on my hem?
I am a shadow-eater, a
blood-eater. This is the place

where mothers plan boxed lunches,
buy winebottles to stash under
the sink. Boredom-eaters,
sticking post-its on the fridge

that say: “milk, margarine,
garbage, bags.” Here, you
exchange a slip of paper
for a bag of apples, believe

this is where it ends: still longing for
empty pockets, for crocodiles’ tongues.

Deconstructing the Papesse Contributors