Friday, September 25, 2009

Gary LeBel: Marked Down

On one side of it hang small wooden clothes hangers, demure and down-turning like an old maid’s shoulders. On the other half is a row of four drawers, each decorated with a covering of fine silk cloth,

the digs, dents and scratches in its riveted wood exterior, each well-earned, each with a story,

the bristling palms of a sea-windy latitude, a dollop of soft language, silk ties and tailored shirts,

ice in amber liquids, the scent of cardamom in Turkish coffee, the spoon-tinkled china half-filled with milky tea, an intricate lace doily beneath the ‘ever so’ inflections of the young woman above,

a world traveler’s home away from home bouncing up the gangway on a lean coolie’s back,

or the truncheon blows of pistons and the slow grinding argument of wheel and rail,

the vast undifferentiated poor that live between points of interest,

who serve the tea, speak the pretty words, lug the luggage, wash the lavatories, shine the shoes and clear the tables of still-warm food:

the turn-of-the-century steamer trunk and the Old World trapped inside it

just marked down to fifty dollars

in the thrift shop.

drinking from a gully
the three-legged dog

by Gary LeBel
Cumming, Georgia

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