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Book Sex


There is such a thing as having too many books.
My entire apartment is a closet bursting out of the door-
clothes are on counters, in the bathroom, and on the floor
in piles that I’ll get to later.
There is a skirt for every mood and with that
too many moods that overlap to decide.
I buy name brands at thrift store prices;
so much of Sappho cost me less than a sandwich and
left me more full than any food ever could.
She looked never worn, never stretched,
smelled too new to hold such old secrets.
And then,
often I like the things that look the way they feel-
my eyes are drawn to tattered shirts on the racks
that are back to be bought for a fifth or sixth time.
Jackets are ragged at the edges and
threads are yellow from the crimes and accomplishments of age, and
unfamiliar names hang from printed tags.
My favorites are the sad ones,
the widows and widowers and cast-out lovers
who wear covers that look like they’ve weathered a few storms.
You can tell they’ve only been worn by one body and
that after the end of Them they don’t know where to go.
They don’t look like the other clothes.
They’re timid and don’t radiate their warmth because
they fear that you won’t love them
like the One who was before.
They’re afraid of the back of armoires and wardrobes
where dust waits with unkind eyes and eager hands.
These are the things I like to take home,
try to understand through hours spent in bed.
They like it rough.
They want to ripped from being loved and
they want marks left on their fronts
from where fingers pressed too hard.
They wear their signs of being worn like a teenager
who snuck away from the house to make-out inside a car.
You can smell every smile and moan and
relive it as your own secret intimacy.

Children’s books are different when you read them in dim light.

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