Already the desert sky had packed
to where the patio roof gaped,
The corporal pushes aside the green case of machetes and six crates of assorted shoes and moves to the lightless rear of the pawnshop. Ancient muskets and spotted brown swords are hanging from the ceiling. The Corporal peers at one coat for a very long time and then points to it. The pawnshop owner looks up and nods. He says in his own language that the coat is not only a bargain but exactly what a good soldier needs.
"How much is it?"
The man creeps through the junk underfoot and takes the red coat from its hanger. It appears to be only a helicopter pilot's jacket made of resplendent red silk, but the man says, "Yes, plenty important coat." The pawnshop owner flips the coat over. Embroidered across the top is the phrase "Live Free Or Die," and below that is a green dragon with wings sewn in rainbow colors. Curling out of its mouth are yellow flames.
"Yeah," the Corporal says. "That's what I want. How much is it?"
The little man squints his eyes at the Corporal. "I give it to you, soldier."