Examining a treasure…

It is black silk,

some Chinese lady’s old cheongsam fragment.

I run my fingers over a chartreuse pattern

of leaves punctuated by plum blossoms

and scattered golden showers.

The top of the box gives, spongy to the weight

of fingers. My hangnail snags

the cloth, pulls up a hair-like black loop.

An ornate false-gold snap clamps

shut the lid.

The cloth is worn along the bottom edge

near a gold and maroon pavilion, where

sitting lovers should be, but are not.

A scent memory of grandmother’s vitrine

rises when I press my nose to the bottom.

What is inside?

Pry open the clasp with an awkward thumb.

On the blood-red velvet interior snuggle

two blue balls with yellow Happy faces.

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