Necklines foam with yellowed fabric,
acrid antiquations growing lace patinas.
Shelves slant and overflow, racks packed tight
with fringe and French perfume—expired,
broken beading on a flapper’s midnight wear,
rose relics tracing floral china.
A fractured sun streak illuminates dust
in crystalline suspension. It falls over furred riches
and casts a woman in shadow at the register.
Her hair rustles, whorled face reflected
in glass casetop like smooth water
displays the shore. She bears the scars
of lovers’ carved hearts on tough skin,
finding distinction in bruises.
A corner-clock counts static moments.
Feet rooted in the floor, she stands
solid against time, surrounded
by brass flourishes and boxed dreams.
Her eyes wander over once-new treasures,
now familiar collections of tarnished plates,
pockmarks and timemarks, as stale as
the stagnant air that hangs, unrippled by customers.
The city-rush outside ends at her store’s entrance.