They looked like little pizzas
keeping warm inside
their cardboard boxes. But those were books
in the oven. Books in the pantry
too, pickled and canned, and cold,
frothy ones in the fridge Books three deep
in the shelves, of course. Books before
and after dinner—aperitifs and sweets—
and books a bit drunk on the way out the door.
Emergency books in the trunk of the car.
Dirty ones lying on the backseat floor.
It was hard not to join them.
Tom Jones chased me 'round the dining room table
while Pamela locked herself in the china cabinet.
Sense and Sensibility raised an eyebrow. I had to pee
and there was Moby-Dick in the sink, pursuing the soap.
A drunken anthology of modernists
was smoking in the living room.
Heart of Darkness crouched behind the bookends, waiting.
The Chaucer stayed in its shelf
and laughed and whispered
under its breath. The world, it said.
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