Her ink in dark blue,
subtle shades on mocha
in the modest triangle
beneath a bright smile
suggests true art on
larger canvas hidden
by a tantalizing drape
of white cotton blouse.
She scans my items,
says hello and means it,
and I want to tell her
somehow what effect
she has, what beauty
and what mystery, but
how to say that, how
to let her know she is
a treasure in the human
gallery, eludes me and
I swipe my card and
offer heartfelt thanks.

James Carns studied creative writing and poetry at the University of Missouri. He earned a living writing ads, but now concentrates on poetry.