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Catalyst for a Sensation

By Sean Enfield

Bobbing vigorously up and down


like teenagers too big for their
rapturous, ever-growing bodies,
Mr. Robertson and Mrs. Wilkins
fill the handicapped stall
in the men's room of a
Walmart in Norman, Oklahoma

He, a thirty-five year old man


as well as a distinguished Joyce
scholar, clutching at his flaccid
member as if he were five and it was a
garden snake slithering in the backyard
as she, a thirty-three year old woman
a few years removed from earning
her doctorate in biochemistry, joins him
in the never-ending chase

Neither had took the time to think


intellectually about the various reasons
why they never did the thing and why
they were about to the thing now nor
would they have predicted such
an encounter, unkempt, but as
midnight comes and midnight goes
several fleeting, titillating discussions
on the sensuality of Shakespearean
literature start to rile up the aging
bones even as the rum turns the already
incomprehensible conversations all the more

incoherent. She whispers seductively


that her cat, Catulhu, and his two
cats, Rosencatz and Kittenstern,
should partake in a ménage à trois
to which he replies, coyly, "Je
le veux beaucoup, beaucoup." Pretty
soon, they rub the flesh off each
other's bodies, stumbling down the
street saying, "your place is too
far," or "no, no, my place is too far,"
until the local Walmart seems
the only reasonable solution. She
chirps when he enters into that
final frontier, across the fruited
plains, where coy men do fear
to tread and he grunts because
he feels the sound moment-
appropriate and even masculine
though it startles her when
first it escapes. Then, the music
of their love seeps beneath the
crack of the bathroom door, into
the aisles and out past the
automated doors, where it passes
a family-owned Beer and Wine
Store, several trees and the twenty-
somethings feeling each other up
beneath the branches and the warmth
of the moonlight into the ears of
a grief-stricken-former-mother whose
tears slip past the cracks in the
pavement and wet the very eyes
of the devil.

Originally published in Poetry Quarterly, Spring 2014