Magic Shop

Magic Shop

by Inessa Carver

I step into a magic shop one day

A bundle slung upon my shoulder

My body breaking beneath the weight

Like Atlas broke

A sign upon the wall reads

“Exchanges Only, No Returns”

The crone behind the counter glaring

Like one of the Fates

I expect to see a string

A red thread of destiny, ready to cut

But the decrepit figure has nothing

Only beady eyes

I place my burden down

Gasping from the relief in my soul

But it’s only temporary

“Exchanges Only”

I carefully lay down my heart

Broken, abused, fragile

Smaller than the parcel I entered with

Insignificant by comparison

The crone weighs my heart

Then she weighs my troubles

I receive an offer, an opportunity

To exchange

My burden is substantial

And I am unbearably weary

I yearn to leave my sorrows behind

And start anew

“Exchanges Only, No Returns”

An unknown suffering awaits

Another load to strain and labor beneath

A salvation or a ruin

A crooked finger rests upon the words

“No Returns”


Inessa Carver is a poet born in Las Vegas, Nevada though her life has led her to live in many states across the western U.S. She is an avid feminist and advocate for LGBTQ rights, with a love for finding beauty in the most difficult circumstances.

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