Summer 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 3 Poetry |

Temporary Services

Memory goes first, the personal spiral here, why we, they, are all alive and clean at 8 A.M. and leave bad backs, confused children, lovers out there. You'd think one could hold on to some of it, allow the reel to run over the fields and box houses we all must have come from. Red dirt. Thistles. Didn't we all love them once, or was it only me who noticed what was blooming. Once you could buy lizards at fairs, curled in plastic boxes, a short rein on each green neck that held it to the pin. I prized the ones that tended toward blue to match my eyes. No one seemed to find this cruel, though we tired of wearing them, and they died in drawers of pins and bottled glue, or escaped into the cool forest of furniture and heavy draperies. I am afraid what I love will get away from me because I do not know a good word for what keeps it in place, the the ever-fixed mark. All I can get on the first day is a few fragments, the ones that rhyme. When the others go to lunch, I sit at the ban

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