My friend worked in retail
as a sales associate in a clothing store.
We met a year earlier at a seafood restaurant,
waiting tables parttime and smelling of fish and guts.
We were young and wild and free-spirited,
leaving the restaurant to shower at her house and
dancing until the clubs let out. All night the music thumping.
The drinks flowing freely. And a new outfit each week.
I was so grateful for the bags of marked-down clothing,
new stock not yet tagged or recorded or hung out on the racks.
Stored in the employee stock room for weeks and
marked as damaged goods, the prices slashed.
Once a week, I came at the appointed time
to pick up my bag of clothing,
paying only a dollar.