Caveat Emptor

His work jeans are delivered--
slightly irregular, highly discounted.
Tearing them from their clear plastic packaging
he notices small strips of white masking tape
near the imperfections
that deemed the pants unworthy
of full retail:
a tattered seam here, a crooked stitch there.
The hands of poor Mexicans
in both senses of the adjective
have clearly delineated
all flaws on his behalf.
He barely paid half-price
and his friends will never notice
but that denim seems much darker
with the stark white set against it.

An itch subdues his chest.
He scratches, checks to see
if there next to his pocket
someone's tagged what is defective.
Even through the laughter
some can recognize the mark.
He likes those seers dearly
or as best as he knows how.

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