Inside my toy safe I locked
seven glass giraffes from Grandmother
once displayed on her credenza.
After she lost her riddled lung,

the hospital lost all that remained.
Or so Father was filled in.

I treasure her charm,
a tiny box housing a dollar—
not that that would get me far in a pinch.
And, speaking of pinches, she said:

Don’t let a boy’s fingers into your purse.
But, what does a mother rehearse?






On Wednesdays, half the fifth grade
left for Catechism Class, each

to learn to save my soul
as if the chest, a cathedral. When

he stepped out on his wife,
I called his other woman a buttress
and added, you’d best send her flying.

What I locked in my school locker
besides pop quizzes marked C,
a velvet coat and Tiger Beats:

a locket. From no one.
Like evidence in the cold case file
of thirteen hacked-up call girls.







If I could visit Antarctica

I’d visit a penguin papa on his long-winded stint
warming an egg on his feet.

Still, a girl should not show her pieds ever
when around her father.

After Grandmother lost her riddled lung,
the raccoon ransacked emergency
boxes of powdered milk in the basement.

Cold cases of Squirt remained safe.
And the word, safety? Think rubbers. Think patrol.
Think Glock. Then think accidental discharge.

In the Isua supracrustal belt,
flora was frozen for billions of years,
secure until discovery. Piled around his home
he entrusted crucial papers

to the catacombs of recollection.

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