Her job was to create
chalk menu boards
for restaurants,
coffeehouses and bars.
She would build
them from scratch,
cutting the wood,
covering it with
chalkboard paint
and then deliberately
inscribing prices:
a spreadsheet of
dollars and cents
in a kaleidescope
of chalk. In short,
a masterpiece.

On dark nights,
she worked by
candlelight.
It was romantic
and showed how
the light would
be at the bar
when the lamps
were dimmed.
People would fall
in love in front
of this menu,
get engaged,
celebrate anniversary dinners.
When the candle had
burnt down far enough,
she would allow
herself five minutes
of longing. She imagined
lying naked on the
chalkboard
and being taken
with abandon
by a man who left
| NO | DOUBT | IN | HER | MIND |
as to
if he really wanted her.
As they embraced,
the chalk beneath
them would smudge
into erotic abstracts
and their bodies
would become powdered
with the dust of love.

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