Passing through a glass-beaded curtain,
I enter an old-school porn shop and see
one of my exes, unaged, selecting plaster
figurines in the tradition of Priapus,
with a shirtless, tanned blond boy behind,
learning forward, hands on knees.
I, unnoticed, circle around racks
of vintage vinyl punk records
but then run into them at the earring
display and exchange rather awkward
greetings, interrupted by a friendly-seeming
stranger, who strikes up a conversation,
only to attempt a scam involving a
supposedly starving friend twenty pounds
from death, seeking monetary contributions.
Recognizing the dream state,
I attempt to practice my assertiveness
training, but ineffectually, so that
the ex comes to my rescue by
depositing marbles in the pocket
of the alleged victim.
T. Allen Culpepper