essay on economies of scale
Mid-morning they arrive.
I’m at the grocery fingering
cellophane tucked slick
to the iceberg lettuce.
As the summer school kids trade cigarettes
& sleeping pills down
at the pipeline.
It’s mid-morning & late afternoon &
First tomatoes ripening
by the fistful.
It’s early July when they arrive
dusty arrive heat stroked
arrive like so many boxes
of catalytic converters
& the day splits open,squeal
Day dragged forth.
When the phone rings & it’s no one.
While I’m waiting for an oil change at the service station.
As daylight wanes & fireflies lamp
the backyard as the heatwave stretches
into a third week & the city’s power
goes out/goes on/flickers again
when the storm comes.
They arrive grimed to cages & truck stuffed to capacity:
delivery distribution problem solved.
Thursday morning & any morning
& daily & weekly
& half-past ten.
This morning on the kill floor
the piglet tried to nuzzle the worker Like a puppy,
the worker says, It happens all the time.
& by then the international flight is canceled
& by then the library books are overdue
& by then the new pop songs have replaced the new pop songs
& by then like two ships passing
& by then the petition has been circulated
& by then the signatures pending
& by then we are all dolled up
& by then we have gone dancing
& by then the raffle’s ended & a man has won the Sebring
& by then the GDP
& by then the private-sector benefits
& by then per capita
& by then the joke doesn’t land
& by then dinner’s ready
& by then the season coming on
& by then the committees gathering
& the committees all forming ghost committees
& the TV shows starting up again
ALLISON TITUS is the author of the chapbook Instructions From the Narwhal, the book of poems Sum of Every Lost Ship, and the novel The Arsonist’s Song Has Nothing To Do With Fire. She was awarded a poetry fellowship from the NEA, and new poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Tin House, A Public Space, and Black Warrior Review.