From Another Name for Bridge (Mansfield Press, 2006).
You’re certainly not doing it for the money: that becomes clear when you imagine the weight of two quarters in your palm as you hand over the memory of the slow-speaking man from Madrid who gave you the miniature bronze candelabra that has been in the bottom desk drawer for years. Or a dime for the grateful noise that child uttered at a table in front of the grocery store when you said yes to the tiny glass vase that would send him to summer camp. People will pull up in their cars and finger your too-small winter coats, the stale scent of the boxed collection of Agatha Christie paperbacks you stole from someone’s trash last summer, the red skirt ripped a little along the back seam. Your unwanted, unused life splayed in front of you. And as you arrange the trinkets and memories into attractive groupings down the concrete stairs, across the gently sloped green of the lawn, how much can you get rid of before the moments contained within everything get up and walk away, held tightly in someone else’s hand?