It is quite something. I remember the days of children
dreaming of spending their inheritance on books
now waiting patiently, in that English way, for nothing
to happen, staring blindly at the ghosts that besiege
the moon late at night, push it, give marching orders
and last warnings. Those small assassins send troubles
to elected people, young and old, gathering them as books
often do, from bodies, sacred fleshy remains, sea-wood
chewed offshore. The history dividing them: no matter.
for every hunger pang, famished child, books.
food, we say. no, they answer. books, always books.
for members of the free world, books. for disgraces
& stains & fallen gods, books. for every white man,
books (only at 1st; they learn). for every beginning
brought to life & light, books. for every ending,
however brief the loss, however deep the grief & maps
in-between, books. for every Q asked w/ true intent, books.
for every writing workshop on senses, books
w/ their white-bright bones in sunlight.
for every couple in a hotel reminiscing on simpler times,
when they were 20 & self-possessed & passages
seemed so clear, how invincible they thought they were,
riding the crest of it, books. for the devils & angels
& luminaries in each gang, those shoulder-dwellers, Books.
for every fanatic books of arks w/ wolves & tigers
the best at killing
for the little things
gap yrs in amsterdam & paro valley
for naysayers & false prophets
for everyone who overlooked Books
for everyone who underestimated them & their fire
cutting them up strip by strip like carrion
for everyone who always loved & cherished them
o Books to line the walls w/
an artist w/ an aerosol can a delivery of defence
a circling vulture a venom a barricade
the big big world ending
in a big big book-burning
big ghosts in the big smoke
big Books we breathe good