Poem – Kate Camp

Personal effects

I went to the Kilbirnie Watchtower to pick up your personal
effects from a policeman with your name.
The faint sun made me sweat a little in the car
in my cream rabbit-fur jacket you’ve never seen.
The policeman was absent so a woman not in uniform
gave me the brown envelope, the size of a foot,
and I held it against my stomach, in the fur,
as I walked back out to the car. And yeah, I cried
on the way home, and tried hard not to have an accident.

And there wasn’t much in it:
a wallet, and $3.15 in change, and a white cigarette lighter.
It was all there, as they’d promised, and the lighter was still going strong,
good as new, and the wallet from Kingston Leather was soft
and moulded like someone made a cast of your pocket,
and there were cards in there, a tiny stack of cards, so I laid
them out in a line on the table and didn’t really try to divine
anything from them.

There was a student ID, community services card and a ten-trip
bus ticket, three sections, with one clip left on it.
There were copy cards, national and city library cards
and phone cards and one card read IRIDOLOGY.
And I looked to see which sector of the iris denoted irony
and which despair but the closest I could find was Reality Coping
and Chest Cavity, and then, just as I was about to put the cards away,
I saw the little key that showed the location of the heart –
according to iridology – right in close to the pupil.

Kate Camp

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