The City Opera Thrift Shop

Not far beyond the intersecting life
of 1st and 23rd , I paused awhile,
my shoulders hunched with cold, and then walked in
where Venus lay, embroidered on a seat,

beneath a reproduction, framed in gilt,
The Carmen Dolorosa of Seville,
whose salt damp tears had run and spoiled her robe.
The ticket with her price was turned in shame.

Among the dresses loosely slung on racks,
were jet set sequined eyes of beaded gowns
that glittered with svelte shapes of former years,
the bric-a-brac of long forgotten lives.

duck bookends

and there beside Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring,
two onyx ducks at loggerheads, support
some hidebound books of Alexandrine verse
unsure which way to lean, a Morton’s fork

beside a somewhat tarnished silver spoon.
A glint behind the glass then caught my eye;
a set of crystal goblets missing one –
the shattered truth of finite usefulness.

I stooped and thumbed a dollar from my roll,
to purchase Whitman’s sighing Leaves of Grass,
before returning home the way I came,
with jumbled thoughts, and hopes, and hidden fears.

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