The comfort of coins echoing in their register
Trays. Contralto quarters, soprano dimes
Chiming the hour above the whisper of paper
Money--counting down the drawer,
Roy, the assistant manager, shakes
Off a late customer rattling the door,
Eyes never straying from the blinking
Cursor on the blue crystal display.
Heather and I feather the wall, fingers
Grooming limp suit sleeves, coaxing
Regimen from remains of the worried
Lambskin, camelhair, merino wool
After shoppers have had their way.
We work from the store's dark belly
Toward well-lighted window displays--
Those undead mannequins that guard
Capitalism. Roy tells us to get our things
And stand still while he sets the alarm.
When he says ok we step over the iron
Gate runner. Roy turns the key and runs
The siren test which sounds, as we walk
Next door to the Palace Hotel for a cocktail,
Like a slightly different emergency
Than high heels clicking on wet sidewalk.