1) Things she carried

Things she carried:
A comb,
A fine comb,
A broken comb,
Three pens and two pencils,
Things she carried.
A cheap comb,
A comb with several teeth missing,
Five credit cards,
Social security card,
Library card,
Three pens and two pencils,
Change purse with one dollar and coins,
Change purse with a dollar and 25,35,45 cents,
Things she carried.
Piece of gum,
Ticket stubs,
Supermarket coupons,
Blank checks,
Three pens and two pencils,
A bottle of pain killers,
Brown leather bag,
A packet of homeopathic insomnia remedy,
House keys,
Credit card case,
Emory board,
An address book,
Phone numbers,
Fax numbers,
Orange wood stick,
Rumpled kleenex,
Car keys,
Woolen knitted gloves,
One earing,
Piece of gum,
Things she carried.

2) Things she noticed

Things she noticed:
Blue and green,
Cool and smooth,
Eyes and hair,
Blue eyes and brown hair,
Shoulders and uniforms,
Fridays and Mondays,
January, July,
Summer and solitude,
Sleep and anxiety,
Evenings and exhaustion,
Things she noticed.
Half opened doors and dark corridors,
The edge of the knife and the surface of the plate,
Inaudible answers and intimacy,
Exchanged glances and unexpressed opinions,
Smooth talking and subtle meaning,
Glad hands and hidden hostility,
Things she noticed,
Camel hair and tortoise shell,
French fries and vinegar,
Insurance forms, police reports,
Summer heat and gentle breezes,
Perspiration and regret,
Old photos and antique frames,
Late night suppers and early morning aches,
The edge of the knife and the surface of the plate,
Things she noticed.
Glass and light,
Age and insight,
Winter and waiting,
Anger and loss,
Things she noticed,
Shadows and shade,
Dreams and desire,
George and Agatha,
Chips and fish,
Things she noticed,
Lions and tigers,
Rain and reflection,
Pain and pity.

4) Things she remembered

Things she remembered:
She remembered the usual things most people do:
pets, birthdays, weddings, funerals, piano recitals,
parties, arguments.
Things she remembered.
A number of meaningless things stuck in her mind.
A small bodega on third avenue.
A neighbor with a very loud cough.
She remembered the car receding in the darkness.
She remembered her best friend in high school,
who became the owner of a bookstore on Lexington Avenue,
which later went out of business.
A number of meaningless things stuck in her mind.
She remembered a crowd of onlookers at the scene of an accident.
She remembered the car receding in the darkness.
Footsteps on the stairs outside her apartment late at night.
She remembered an old geezer,
An old geezer wearing a hat, driving a Buick too slowly.
She remembered waiting two hours for a bus that never came.
Looking out the window watching him leave.
Things she remembered.
She remembered driving along the coast of Maine.
She remembered renting a car at the Denver airport.
The airline pilot who took her to dinner.
She remembered the dinner.
She forgot everything else.
She remembered the usual things most people do:
pets, birthdays, weddings, funerals, piano recitals,
parties, arguments.

6) Things she read

The day began like any other.
Three, four, five, six, seven,
She knew it would be difficult this time and didn't look forward to it.
Everybody hoped it would go away by itself, but it never did.
Someone always had to turn the screws.
Seven, eight, nine, ten.
It was not as if it had all been planned in advance.
Somehow none of it made any sense.
Something strange happened about 11:20.
Three men walked into the office and sat down, without saying anything.
She sensed that it was inevitable.
There seemed to be nothing that she could do.
Just at that moment, she realized what was about to happen.
Crossing the street, she noticed a peculiar silence at one end of the block.
With a vague uneasiness she felt that someone was watching her, following her.
No matter how fast she moved, he stayed with her.
Seven, eight, nine, ten.
Sister, this was going to be some day.
It wasn't her turn.
She didn't know.
It wasn't fair.
Who else knew?
Why did it happen?
How did it happen?
She didn't have a chance.
It had to be done.
How far is it from here?
Three, four, five, six, seven.
This was not a game she knew how to play.
Why was it that every step forward seemed to meet the same brick wall.
Honesty was not going to be easy.
The day passed quickly, and before she knew it, it was time.
It was late when they started out.
The rain fell steadily, with no sign of letting up.
In a moment she jumped in the car and turned the key.
As she put her foot to the gas pedal, a flash of insight passed through her mind.
Whoever was behind this certainly knew how to manipulate appearances.
The car sped quietly along the rain-slicked roads.
She drove north, through the dark empty streets.
As the moment approached the knots in her stomach multiplied.
She could hear her heart beating.
So much had slipped through her fingers, that what was left, was not worth noticing.
It had to be done.
She didn't have a chance.
It wasn't fair.
North of town,
There was a small motel,
The kind with a broken no vacancy sign that rarely flashed.
Weeds populated the parking lot.
Cars were parked sporadically in front of seedy rooms.
You could peel the grease with a putty knife.
The road ended abruptly, yielding to an overgrown dirt path.
The wheels crunched on the gravel.
As she got out of the car, she noticed something unusual.
The smell of burning leaves wafted over the road.
The moon was full, the sky was clear and the night was still.
Somehow, none of it made any sense.
By the light of the moon she could make out a solitary figure standing in the garden.
He spun around quickly when he first heard her approach.
His face showed a mixture of fear and alarm.
The shadowy figure moved slowly towards her, purposefully, steadily.
His surprise at seeing her was evident.
His eyes had about as much expression as a pair of dirty hubcaps.
She could hear the silence screaming.
All of a sudden everything seemed to go into suspension.
She wished she could turn the clock back three weeks, at least.
Just at that moment she realized what was about to happen.

8) Things she knew

Things she knew:
She knew her stuff.
She knew her way around.
She knew the back of her hand.
She knew the shape of things to come.
She knew what she had to do.
She knew her own mind.
Where to draw the line.
She knew when to stop.
What it meant to fail.
She knew a peaceful spot.
She knew her limitations.
She knew London, she knew France.
She knew who cleft the devil's foot.
She knew how to hedge her bets.
She knew a faker when she met one.
Things she knew.
She knew sorrow.
She knew wishfulness.
She knew loneliness.
She knew bitterness.
She knew the sound of her own footsteps on a tile floor.
The echo of an empty room.
She knew the value of self-indulgence.
The vanity of toil.
The persistence of dreams.
The sanctity of solitude.
She knew the taste of envy.
The hot breath of insistence.
She knew when to fold.
When to hold,
When to hope,
When to yield,
When to resist,
When to persist,
She knew how to hide.