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Brian Ng via Creative Commons

I thought of her and walked a crowded street. A doorway beckoned me inside away from anonymity and there I found a curious shop of shopping curiosities. No keeper greeted me at register, no labor there was found, I walked in narrow aisles and shivered. In incense clouds she stared at me, everywhere her trinkets; things that belonged to her and those she had not purchased.

Behind a beaded curtain I found a plinth upon which sat a tome of dust and flesh. I drank a book about the tome and felt the words sustain me, taking place of her for maybe one more hour or a day. When sunset came I left that place beneath a weight of packages. No purchase had I made. Before I reached my aching loft I wondered whose arms she warmed that night and the many grisly nights to come.

I spread her objects on the bed and wrapped them in the quilt. With strips of drapery I tied the sack and watched them drown upon the street below, scavenged by the desperate urchins and quailing clergy. One day I might join them all but for now I let it go and wept.