I have fetishes objects and charms acquired by accident, not by design. These small unchanging things move with me through time and a series of rooms, apartments, and stucco bungalows until I'm hard pressed to remember how I came to have them.

I have a key from one man, a key that opens the door of an apartment where he no longer lives, the place where his stereo was stolen. From another man, I have an uncancelled check from a bank in New England for a hundred dollars and 00/100, misdated. From a third, I have a worn softball, well scuffed and inert.

I have a library card that belonged to a man who seldom read.

Too sentimental -- I wish I could set them on fire
with a Bic lighter (a totem from yet another),
and reduce them to a spoonful of ashes and slag.


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