I put the sign in the window:
Everything’s For Sale.
All aisles must be cleared,
every shelf must be emptied,
room must be made at whatever cost for whatever’s
sure to arrive.

I put aside my nostalgia
for the value of things and price
accordingly; the pants I made
big promises in, the shoes
that tired too easily, the
pocket watch that couldn’t tell a day from a daydream.

Everything must go,
no matter how deep the discount.
Over here, the books yellowed
by my ignorance. In that corner,
the sheets that wrestled my
affections, the bad breath I fed the dog.

This day belongs to bargain
hunters, to anyone who’s lost
a minute’s sleep guessing my
bottom line. Shortchanges
only by expectations, I lay bare
everything I paid for dearly,
everything I think I own.

(first published in Poetry)