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Purchase

Start with the girl
in the gutter; her mat of plastic
spread on the sidewalk
just past the shop
where porters bend to take boxed
refrigerators on their back
Start with the lockets & locks
she's set out for sale
Or if not her, then the boy
ringed with satchels
standing like a coat-rack
in the circle where roads cross
Forget the passersby
no matter how drawn their faces
or bitter their smiles
Forget the pale-face mannequins
draped with shawls or wearing silk
Wait till the fifteen year old
leans into the weight of it
Catch his eyes as they shut
and just after, as open they must
to take that first step
led on by a nervous mustached man
End with the one who fears for his purchase
whose moneyed pace we all
succumb to

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Copyright @ 2001, 2002 by Wayne Atmzis. All Right Reserved.

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