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Yes, there were the underwear models. And yes,

we ogled them like we did the women pulled

from bushes, curly and wet. But it was years

before that gloss slab, weight of a ream, meant that.

Here were our Christmases, entire: all our wants

packed in print before a boredom of size guides.

We would study each leaf like a Bible text,

June through November; leave the elves December

to build and paint and package. That catalogue

of everything our folks could not afford

to buy any other way, and for the same

per week as we were meant to hand the lady

we hid from, all lights off. She’d make our hearts thud

harder – a feeling we’d know again, in time,

as we turned to the pages before the shoes.

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