Evan Nicholls

The Gift & Thrift

You have been going to The Gift & Thrift almost every day now. An ancient woman runs the store, and the two of you have become very close. Her husband’s clothes were in the racks and you bought them– the cardigans, the button ups, his camel blazer– because you are in school, and do not have the pockets for a new wardrobe. At some point, she began to give them to you for nothing. Now she shrieks like a gray fox every time you walk in: Oh, how you look like my husband! My late husband! Memory! And she looks at you with love in the clouds that are her eyes... With time, she appears younger to you, and you walk like an old man in your duds. You walk to The Gift & Thrift one night when the sky is concave and so is your frame. She meets you inside. The woman plays a beeswax record from the corner and Dink’s Song coats the room. You begin to feel heavy like a cannonball or a dove. Oh, the gravity of your new age! How it drags all parts of you down into the floor. You are doubled over at how soft she has become. And a bust of George Washington watches you from some shelf, dim eyed... Underneath the smell of your clothes, you have tummy moths at how the moment has buried you... You turn her in your arms like a baby or an hourglass...

Evan Nicholls has work appearing in Passages North, Maudlin House, CHEAP POP and Lost Balloon among others as well as forthcoming in formercactus and THRUSH. He is from Fauquier County, Virginia. Follow him on Twitter @nicholls_evan.





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