The Book of PoemsJenni Russell
Some nights I find the book tucked in a drawer between G-strings and a fuchsia boa. Other nights, an older gentleman selects it from a stack, hands it to me and says, "It only exists on this side of humidity." His cashmere sweater smells like pipe tobacco. A globe-shaped ceiling fixture reflects in his dark hair, slicked back like Fred Astaire’s, and the mole on his chin protrudes. He removes his shoes, slips into flip-flops dipped in gold glitter and paints a horseshoe path around my chair. I close the book. On the cover, a wasp licks the residue of an orange Popsicle. I say, shoo. It rumbles into my mouth and stings my tongue. The book drops. The man grabs it and runs.
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