In the fourplex living room
hauling hardcover books, mom’s shoes, stuffed animals, tape cassettes, bags, candles, picture frames, notepads, jewelry, Cabbage Patch kids, sticker books, lunch pails –
using Monopoly money, found pennies & nickels & dimes,
blank bank forms paper thin like dreams,
and a Fisher Price plastic cash register
that beeped sadly, intermittently, its battery
corroding with age.
The best gig was cashier
pushing buttons, doing fake math, taking money, giving change, packing grocery bags
with purchased items to be immediately
placed back on sofa cushion & coffee table displays.
Oh, the hours of satisfied play
the therapy of shopping
then the surprising weight
of putting it all away
ending empty handed
that paper thin dream of
of feeling rich
lifting up up up
like breath exhalations
blown from sugary lips
after candy cigarette breaks
on the shared balcony.