No judgement. Checkout girl with reindeer antlers.
‘Do they make you?’ ‘Who? What?’
‘Antlers. The antlers.’ ‘What?’
‘Do they force you to wear them?’
‘They were there, when I came in.’
‘It was expected of you?’
‘No. I don’t know. They were heaped
in the corridor by the fresh meats.
I put one on. This one.’
Her fingers pointed vaguely.
‘So you just put one on
without asking?’ ‘I suppose.’
She didn’t want to talk;
I could sense it in the spaces
between her little breaths,
as though the forest… etc.
Shy, easily spooked. Wary.
Uneasy with words. Then
I figured; the antlers were real;
it was a girl-costume she’d donned
behind the cold meats, the lamb,
and mince. She was celebrating
some siberian rite based on
the angle of the arctic light,
whose apotheosis involved
the cladding in the body of a human girl,
not necessarily virgin, but petting
would work better, then topped-off with uniform
an off-red, with cheese trimmings,
the simple drama of lifting
and scanning, the beeps and hisses
of the stunted horizon,
a nativity play with nectar points,
each trolley an instant delivery
of good fortune.

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