Thursday, February 23, 2012


At a Pawnshop in Houston
by Richard Merelman

The way he strokes my string of cultured pearls
Is virtuosic. I forget to bargain.
My best is a hundred, he says. A blush swirls
From his cheek to his dimpled chin. Come again

He urges. It doesn’t take a month to drink
The money up. Next is the silver tray
Embossed with jade. He feels for dents; we link
Forefingers. Tiffany style, he sighs; passé

But half a grand
. I sip his voice, like wine.
This morning it’s the Portuguese candlesticks,
My favorite wedding gift. Exquisite design,
He whispers, lingering. Is this love or shtick?

Soon we’ll see. I bring him only me,
No pawn at all. In fact, he’ll find I’m free.

~ first published in Loch Raven Review