Bits and Pieces


Unlike the snake
who shed all her
one irritated day,
I lose, misplace,
dispose my skins
in flakes of time.
Dry snow and pumice wind.

Like black in the dryer, I collect
things. Like a black cat
on moon-white silk–I shed.

There was this dress
oh, so long ago: green
on green. An abstraction
of vines from the shade
on the shade of bluegrass
still cool from the dew.
Skirt a verdigris bell,
neck of elegance. Love
fell over my hands
in green tulip cuffs.

Gone with the lonestar quilt
of my mother’s wedding,
cookware bought by the weekly check,
one blue Camero, one
red-on-white Corvair van,
the opal ring lost and found by
miraculous chance, two
class rings, “ How Much Is That
Doggie in the Window” by
Peggie Lee, “Candy Kisses
(Wrapped in Paper)”
by George Morgan, the Reader’s
Digest Children’s Book Club
edition of David and the Phoenix
annotated by my preschool brother,
my mind several times,
the ability to read for five years,
senses of smell and taste,
a red enameled ballpoint,
a sense of virginity, desire to see
the world, a View Master, two
bicycles, a waterbed mattress,
a bookcase bed, eleven old
silver dollars, a rocking chair,
three horses, five dogs, seven
lovers, most of my hair.

Most of my time
has been spent
with my head
in a book. “Don’t
you know you’ll
ruin your eyes?”

One day the lost poems
will turn up, and some stranger
will flip through them
before consigning them
to the trash. c’est la vie,
as mehitabel says, c’est la vie.

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