Cole Caswell, Atmosphere, Plate #001 (inkjet print from scanned experimental film), 24”x30”, Maine, 2012

Where fluorescent lights are electric eyes blinking
as shopping carts hustle past, cradled by invisible fists. 
Each iteration around the dried pigeon gristle, eggs
& the gas green lemons crystallized mid-burst.
The immigrant women cluster in a blurred line, glass
figurines waiting to be bagged. No one hovering
near the checkout register. In the meat aisle, the poultry
recline undressed on beds of ice, while the sardines
drown themselves in oval tubs flooded with oxygen—
gills in bloom, light cresting hills of gray. A baby nearby
wailing again & again over the instrumental moans
as the elderly radio muffles its ears. Look around.
Everyone here is caged in warehouse steel mesh,
waiting for God or someone else. This linoleum
space is only liminal space as exit gates swing open,
close—a sliver of outside splashes over the doorway
marigolds half-priced, staining the jars of expired milk.
Look around. The cashier is still missing at register two.


Jacqueline He