by Lowell Jaeger
The wooden floors creaked
as the stock manager lumbered up the aisle
under his armload of boxed merchandise.
he hissed at the lady in cosmetics,
stacking what he’d stashed
at her feet and dashed away. His neck
ablaze, his starched collar blotched with sweat.
I’d overheard from the aisle nearby,
a boy who loitered, enchanted
by the scent of her, ensnared by the ribbons
bannered in her hair.
When our eyes met, I flinched. Her gaze
blinked and shot past.
She swallowed hard, lifted a box and slid
behind the glass defenses of her station,
amidst perfumes and plasters. Her lipsticks
like gold bullets in their racks.