The way lightning touches a deer’s antler
on the lusty rock outcrop—foraging

for contact, for embrace, amid the barren
peaks and oceans of the deserted world—

some people use the telephone to shock
their friends with news, to kill them with content:

a bare hug, leaving the receiver stunned,
gurgling blood. So too the swaddled shoppers

charging cross paradisal parking lots,
surmounting barricades, sucked through revolving

doors, reaching out to lance desire’s abscess
with a single swipe of plastic or strangled

cash in tightened fist. With faint aroma
of boxed tissue casketing the kills, they’re tagged

bagged and tossed in angry chromed trucks whining
under loads. Church bells celebrate the shoppers

home—squirrelly, bulging, packaged, never late
for church. Everything inside something else.