Wednesday, March 25, 2009


She flips through, one at a time. Licking tongue to flesh to page. She could cut out the middleman and going straight for the words, lap them up, a hungry deer in winter fog, staring out into half-branches that so resemble the bear's teeth in soft veins.

In the two-fifth light of the library's moon, operated with the flick of the conscience, she flips through, one at a time. Silence interrupted by turning pages, alphabetical but to her, just the warm soup from the morning in the lines of her palms. Sound that was so barren and alien, the walls shut it all out with fingers shoved into ears, awaiting the blast of dynamite to break the earth she stands on, already crumbling, already the stuff of tired elbows, but it will never come.

She is looking. Skimming, touching paper to flesh, gliding left and right and right to left, up and down and down and up, but this elevator has no music to make drops seem standard.

She is looking but not looking. The spaces between letters mean just as much as the black marks. And the blanks between the spaces. And then the spaces between those. Until it's all just a feeling, a skimming.


And staring, with jaws clenched and glassy eyes shut tight.

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