At the corner store

As I offer her
my small change
and a few smaller words

I notice the shop assistant
is wearing a necklace
of lovebites

which embellish
and blemish
her skin.
Perhaps a multicoloured sign
warning people
to stay away.
Or a set
of traffic lights:
her demeanour softening

as they change
from red to amber to green -
"Do you want a bag?"