The Kroger Car-Loading Service

by Maia Siegel

The grocery boy loaded her car
with twenty free-range chicken
breasts. She did not discover this
until she was back home, after
she had cloroxed every plastic Kroger
bag he could’ve held. She hadn’t asked
for twenty, she’d asked for two and a pack
of paper towels. He hadn’t given her
the paper towels and so, she thought, he gave
her eighteen extra breasts to make up for it. She
tried to sell the breasts on Facebook, ten bucks
apiece. She said she would accept Venmo
or Paypal, so no money would have to reach
across hands. No bidders. She looked up recipes
that used inane amounts of bird meat:
a pot pie, a noodle soup, a sandwich
with breasts as bread. She couldn’t eat them
fast enough, so she started padding her bra
and briefs with the defrosting cutlets,
taking mirror shots where her ass looked
a couple inches thicker. She sent these pics
to every ex in her phone, even the ones who
had grown neckbeards. The house started to stink
from the chicken strip mobile she had put up
in the kitchen. It made no sound except that of meat
knocking into itself. She called the Kroger. She said
My grocery boy did a fabulous job. How can I tip
him? The woman on the phone gave her
the boy’s address, said We’re not supposed to
take tips but we’ve all almost cried and we got here
at four in the morning, so I think he’d accept.
She hung up, she breaded the final cutlets in
money, in sanitized bills. Cutlets in parchment
stamped with the heads of presidents. She gently
dropped them into an envelope, sent them
to the boy. She thought maybe
she was in love with him. She started
making plans to paper the inside of her trunk
with nude pictures of herself, or
the photos where the cutlets made her ass
look big. She shivered every time she imagined
him opening the trunk, all of her naked meat
staring back, him placing the defrosting
chicken meat over her like a dress,
like a negligee, like a shroud.