The Used Chair Dealer - Poem by Morgan Michaels
'She sat in a tulip chair, naked, reading something-what?
a National Geographic atlas, I think it was.
Every so often a page of light turned across her bosom.
She talked about places she wanted to go, the sunny window behind her
darkened with red and green trumpet flowers.
Her little chin made a bowl-shaped shadow on her chest'.
'Wait a sec, what kind of chair'?
'A tulip chair. Beautifully upholstered, striped silver and black,
looking brand new after seven years-
Her legs were crossed at the knees and hung over the side.
Her toe twitched as she read'.
'I haven't seen a tulip chair in years!
I didn't know they still made them.
'This one was from Carolina, I think. Henredon. Great for reading. Anyway, her skin was white as Parian marble, or snow or something, and her fingernails were painted a sort of maroon, as were her toenails.
She practically steamed'.
'Hm. Henredon's in South Carolina. What'd'it cost'?
'Then? Mm, about four-hundred retail, give or take fifty. She was twenty-three and smoked lightly.
Her face was a bud- not even open yet.
Her toe kept twitching, twitching'.
'Hm. what happened to that chair? Still have it?
A chair like that's gotta be worth something'.
I gave it to the super three years ago when we moved.
There just wasn't room. He built the bookcases, remember.
I begged her to stay. I told her she could live free-
even see other men, if she chose.
I said I'd buy her flowers every week.
She could have an expense account of her own.
She smiled, said 'good', and came back often
but in the end went back to her rich husband.
Can you beat that'?
'You gave it away? Fool. Do you still have his number'?
'I didn't know him'.
'I mean the carpenter'!
'Oh, sure, it's here somewhere. Want it?
'Absolutely. They're hard to find- good tulip chairs'.
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