Ode to My Purse
The three French handbags came
with lifetime warranties. Clasping
heavy straps, I cinch them saddle-tight
against the grasping world.
Dark wells, they incubate details,
stash my days in hidden rooms.
My black postman’s case clacks
clock-neat on thigh, ticking tasks.
Weekends I sling a red pouch that eats
torn tickets and topless lipsticks. Keys
to many locks eel through my caramel creel.
Open Purse, I say: swallow phone, glasses, cash.
Bring home to me, magician’s hat. I chant,
lovely Coach-crafted clutch, catch! You
soft maw, yawn to gorge and stow
my emblems. Stretch and hold the zoo
of me, the proof, spoil and tool.
-- first published in The Atlanta Review (Thanks, Dan Veach!)