The smell of paper, creased and damp
With the fingerprints of a thousand hands
Searching for conversion beneath a lamp
Beside a window or on a bookstand.
More than once under yellow
Furious eyes, scanning, planning
The next goodbye, the next hello,
The next why didn’t you say so.
The rustle, the hustle
Tattered and torn,
Stuffed in strange places
Battered and borne.
Your blown cover hides the marks to show
Where you’ve been, when you’re next to go.
But the shelf’s now empty, the room, bare
These words forever lost, to empty air.