A Most Peculiar Woman


Consider this, a woman at a garage sale.
Or consider this, a woman whose life
is made from discarded items one finds
at the open lot sales on 6th and 35th.
This morning, she evades the rug sellers,
the scavengers of household lint,
the vendors of exotic tea cups.
She strolls past lines of early morning
deserted lovers looking for the perfect
memento to project their newfound anguish.
She stops and buys a Bosch, a Majolica
barrel-shaped garden seat, a Japanese Daruma doll,
red spherical body, white face without pupils.
She recalls a Zen master once saying,
Sleep will only break your concentration.
She waves down a cab.

She returns to her apartment on West 10th,
to the sound of a neighbor's Yorkshire Terrier,
the one she sometimes feeds steamed skinned
chicken parts after the master catches the No. 89
uptown. She places the items next to a petal tufted
bench and glides into the bathroom. In the mirror,
she is aware of the Daruma doll's eyes following
her without moving. She removes her eye liner,
her make up, the pink lipstick, then the hair,
her doll-like eyes, the dress, the head, the arms,
the body, the heels, the body, the body.
Now she can see through her not-self.
Now she can sleep.



- Kyle Hemmings