by Tracy Kirk

    I have picked up all the papers now,
    organized them again
    according to their due dates,
    pieced together some from wet bites
    the baby has taken out of them,
    the electric bill, the water bill;
    I was on the telephone
    for only a few minutes, taking down
    messages from my voice mail,
    one from a student in trouble
    with the law, one from an aunt
    who wonders why I don't call,
    the baby taking things
    from the drawer she could reach,
    a soup ladle, a recipe book . . .
    Today the world shrank
    the millimeter to close index
    finger and thumb to grasp
    a corner of can't have it
    after can't have it,
    the mortgage, the insurance.

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