Excerpts > Lisa M. Steinman
Lisa M. Steinman

Watching the local what they call news—
neighborhood gatherings, lost exotics
like emus, children gone one way
or another astray—suddenly,

amidst the always familiar,
nearly identical artist's
renderings of the wanted, there, strange
and tough, a good friend's good daughter.

Her face like all those of people
in rooms where voracious roving
cameras break down the doors and enter.
The cats hide in the wastebasket.

If one read the cats, they'd say, "Keep
everything." Or, maybe, "It's all
a waste." You can always tell someone
has tried to plump the cushions, arrange

flowers; they've hung pictures, or placed
knickknacks just so. And this despite
the desperadoes in the closet.
Who is the home invader? . . . Not

that I'd want, in a dark alley . . .
But suddenly there's also "and what
do we do now?" and then years of
"what do we do next?" The dropping
of some organ in the chest, as if
stepping off a cliff face, and wanting
to try that step again. The artist's
rendering. Rendered up. From to give back,

hand over. Submit. Recite. Hold,
as in prison (see apprehend).
This is not something the mind holds,
skittering away, glancing off this

and that, saying no to the breaks,
as in "Them's the . . ." As in hearts.
The people submit they've been mis-
represented, handed over and not given back.

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