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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The lines don't last too long, at the dollar store

For her, winter’s not a season,
it’s the clichéd age.
It has been, for ages,
and it’s made sad
patches of her greasy black hair,
those slicked back hairs now licking
the back of her frosty white scalp.

It came in with a wire, this winter.
You can’t see it,
but there had to be a wire,
a wire to tug at her lip,
to drag down her hip,
to pull her foot out
to its permanent perpendicular.

She didn’t come in alone either.
She’s got her fella with her
and he’s a tall fella,
on the go and going,
going on
with a heart that beats him
humming-bird thumps
while he hovers
figure eights around her
and the impulse rack,
his two salty-sweet feeders.

The winter’s lost its bark outside,
and she’s losing hers,
but it doesn’t stop her from barking,
I ain’t paying for that ... 
even before he’s got a that
for her not to pay for,
so he beats it back
and nudges his beak
in the lost blossom of her neck
to half-kiss and half-calm her,
I’ve got my own money.

Too late, she’s at it,
the front of the line
and she swipes it,
$41.02
off the plastic card
for a cheap plastic bag of chips
and two twenties back.

Then, the wire
lets her flash the cashier
that stolen-spring’s smile
before she and her fella
face it together
the end of her winter
out through the door.
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