Lingering Latency
by Claire Scott

Books and CDs line my shelves like sentinels, thousands and thousands
of colorful spines keep me company. So much better than cats.

As a kid I collected shells, insects, stamps, Cracker Jacks prizes,
marbles and ceramic dogs. I counted, labeled, sorted and classified.

That's what they do, latency kids, before they discover the delights
of furtive touches and tongued kisses.

My eyes were on Susie with long blonde braids as well as Christine
with a sprinkle of freckles across her nose and a crooked front tooth.

I spend weeks figuring out how to file a CD with both Beethoven and Schubert
sonatas. Should I separate memoirs from biographies, Asimov from Hawking?

My mother discovered my notebooks with initialed hearts. She took me
to Dr. P. W. Keller who practiced Aversion Therapy and prescribed Thorazine.

At times I wonder about my world of sentinel spines and then I feel
the shocks on my skin, the numbness in my body, and head off

to Barnes & Noble for the latest translation of the Iliad to wedge
next to the unopened edition by Richard Lattimore.

My days busy with sorting, my nights with soft dreams of Susie and Christine,
wondering if they too are collecting and arranging and thinking of me.


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