Overloading, Qintong Li
When the old man brought his payment
in dimes and hard candies, she hesitated.
Peering into his mackerel-blue eyes,
she suggested an installment plan. The firm’s policy was
to collect up front. It was the nature of her business: taking
what little was left of her clients—like this man,
sitting in his fetor of Bengay and expired cologne.
On Sunday, she walked past a display of snapper at the market,
lined up in their pageantry
on the ice—their unblinking eyes
reminiscent of past clients.
Memento mori, she thought,
ordering a turkey on rye.