The Antique Shop of Tiny Men

an old woman stretches
her back on the draw of blinds and pulls it
opens her shop. the morning clambers in, leaps
on the dust like microscopic cowboys
holding lanterns on their horses. the silence
riding her ears

(like time
when it stops at a light)

is the hollering
and pinging spit of cattlemen, who haven’t see a woman like her
since the railroad. since the river? she passes
one hand for the other, dreams
of washing dusty chaps in wooden buckets
until blisters emerge on her fingers like saddles
i could have FIVE men like these on one hand! she thinks, and when
no one comes in but the light, she waits
for the hand-painted cups on her shelf
to start breaking

i have a box of ammunition behind the counter
, she says. i can be
of some use to you

never has there been a shop
of such miserly antiques, who seem to sit as heavy as they can
in their places. and never have i seen a room filled
like this one, with light, with the reckless
placement of fragile things so close to all the exits
i see my reflection in the open mouth
of the vanity, the little bit of me worth anything
being consumed, being absorbed into the whiteness
of a model’s shining teeth. and Adrienne

the girl my age
now dreaming of men her own size. she has a face
of freckles like footprints, a face that reminds me
of wandering around forever
in a room I don’t want to leave

6 comments

  1. Night Owl Poetry

    My childhood is peppered with memories of an antique store my mama’s friend owned. In it all things seemed both elderly and timeless. You capture the beauty of these experiences very well. Some lines I LOVE: The silence riding her ears…reckless placement of fragile things…the little bit of me worth anything…
    Keep it up!

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