’50s Closet

’50s Closet
by Frank Scarangello

Walking South, tall and lithe
high heels clicking
young men turning
catching a surreptitious glimpse
from behind.

before her descent
into the subway, heading home
she gazes in Bonwit’s windows
at the scarves.

Breathing deeply, somewhat flushed
she enters,
walking directly to the counter
where the scarves were laid out
tended by the woman.

Short dark hair, unfashionable
like a boy’s
dark smoldering eyes
that looked directly at you
Nay, through you as she spoke.

She wore a tie
and slacks
her face unadorned
save for tiny golden
earrings.

“May I help you?”

She responded almost whispering,
heart racing, feigning interest in the patterns
staring, her hands nervous on the glass
pointing to scarves brightly colored

which were gently spread
across her outstretched palms
their hands and fingers touching
as they together held the silks
discussing quality.

She would ask about the price
the availability of other colors
her voice almost choking;
she was answered in kind; hushed
perhaps distracted by desire
perhaps implying hidden consent.

They continued discussing scarves
in furtive whispers
two women leaning close to one another
hands touching
in a public space.

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