Rules of Commerce
by Jon Wesick

I used to sell shoes to transvestites,
part of my first job.
Taught me all I know about retail like
not to sit when the boss was there and that
filling shelves with empty boxes
gives the illusion of plenty.

A national chain at the local mall
screaming kids and women with big feet
Now and then cross dressers sashayed in.
Purses, skirts, makeup covering ingrown facial hair
all the stereotypes of ridicule
Coworkers snickered. I sat the girl/men down
measured their feet on a steel plate
Their voices so timid, I had to lean close

Then to the stock room
to search for high heels among the size twelves
We never had them in their size
so I brought back whatever I could.
No matter what I jammed on their feet
no matter how many band-aids and blisters
the girl/men always paid.
They took what we gave them.
They never complained.

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