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There is Nothing Like A Berkeley Estate Sale: Poetry by Jeremy Cantor

her microscope (brass barrels) 
her short-wave radio (vacuum tubes) 
her slide rule (ivory-faced) 
her mechanical polar planimeter (does anyone still make those?) 
one copy of every journal her work appeared in 
 
books inscribed to her by most of the famous people in her field 
boots, butterflies, black and white photographs 
boxes of things I looked at for an hour 
but can't recall 
 
a monkey's skull studded all over with 
round silver ornaments like upholstery tacks 
 
sheet music for piano 
an oboe reed 
an mbira 
a djembe 
 
dictionaries in four languages 
novels in three 
poetry in two 
 
dust the agent missed when cleaning for the sale 
 
two shelves of journals 
with entries in two different hands 
except for the last volume 
with entries in hers only 
 
a wedding ring 
 
her underwear which of course 
she needed until the day she died 
but there was no one left who 
cared enough to get rid of it 
before the sale 
 
back at the car you said "Please, love— 
don't let that happen to me.” 

 “There is Nothing Like a Berkeley Estate Sale” originally appeared in the online magazine CULTURAL WEEKLY™, a project of NEXTECHO FOUNDATION™

Jeremy Cantor

Jeremy Cantor began writing poetry after retiring from a career in laboratory chemistry. He has made and tested engine oil additives, detergents and pharmaceuticals, driven a forklift, worked in a full-body acid-proof hazmat suit, tried to keep his fingers working in a walk-in freezer at -40°F and worked behind radiation shielding. He prefers writing. His debut collection, Wisteria From Seed, with a foreword by former Boston Globe arts critic Michael Manning, was published in 2015 by Kelsey Books. His work has been performed at the Boston Conservatory (set to music by composer Robert Gross) as well as in San Francisco and Tucson. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, published in conjunction with Oxford University Press), Reed Magazine, Crosswinds and other journals, as well as several anthologies. Jeremy is an alumnus of the Community of Writers. He is currently working on his second volume of poetry.

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