Managing Glass

The beat philosopher at the antique
emporium wraps all my crystal gifts
in paper towel, takes only cash, and smiles
and smiles as though he doesn’t hear a word
I say about my game of hide and seek
with breakables. My sense is that he drifts
away and back. He’s got a lot of miles
on his odometer, the cagey bird.

I say I need to keep them separated–
the tidy creamer/sugar bowl ensemble;
the narrow vase for long-stemmed yellow roses.
Diogenes, reflective, doesn’t care.
He tosses all into a desiccated
plastic shopping bag. My little gamble
and the guarantee will tinkle, one supposes,
chipping in the trunk of my Bel Air.


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