Tuesday, 15 January 2019


by Candyce Byrne

In the large room lined with mirrors,
we slip treasures over our heads:
fully lined skirts, jackets with hand-turned buttonholes—
quality you rarely see nowadays.
we’re hunting for bargains in the “off-price” store.
Watch, if you like,
if plump matrons in their underwear
turn you on.

Notice we never
look at each other but only at
our silk-clad reflections, toward whom we silently sneer:
Too tight across the thighs.  Too big in the bust.
Will they think I paid full price?

And we could, of course.  You can tell by our shoes,
our lacy bras, our excellent haircuts
that we have the money to pay.

Those with the money to pay
walk out with their arms full.
The shabby girl who guards the door
watches us, making sure
treasures go to those with the money to pay.

* * * * *

Candyce Byrne studied music, English and journalism and is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Clarion West.  She has been a broadcast journalist and anchor, a science writer and editor, managed publicity for nonprofit organizations, helped found and run a theatre for nearly two decades, and is currently the book review editor for NewMyths.  In addition to poetry she writes short stories and plays and has published in Grasslands Review, Xizquil, Magic Realism, Thin Ice, Bay Laurel, Asimov's and NewMyths.

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