The bookmark is the part that I keep coming back to, perhaps because I think that it is the thing about the whole incident that says the most about me, the only thing that means anything. The exact placement of the bookmark, the way that I precisely, if quickly, wedged it into the book so that the bottom edge cleanly revealed a line of text and its top edge protruded out of the book at its customary surplus of about 1.5 inches.
I was reading in the park, engrossed in a world very far from my own, but one in which I was reading a highly coincidental passage about a car accident. I’m sure that it means nothing that I was reading about an accident, but when I heard the bang of the collision, it was a shock to my mind as much as my ears. It was as though the life of the pages were playing out before me, and as I looked quickly up at the car accident coming to a stop only yards from the bench, I became very confused.
I was already in action of course, as the papers went to great lengths…
Today is the second thousandth time I must attempt to forget, but instead I will build you a temple On the wallpaper of an aging soul. Don’t go coughing again in the middle Of a night when all sleeps, travel to Dreamlands, neighborhoods so far away Don’t you dare scream again at the boy. You knew how to smile once, yesterday still I saw you laugh with a stranger and his lettuce A world yours, where no one was welcome But pain, scars, punches never held back. I want to make you laugh, long to see you Smile behind, within, and outside all that skin No matter the deep grooves and dried up pores You must believe that you too deserve it a little. You hold it to yourself like it’s yours to keep Don’t you know you are not allowed And the universe demands you share it all For you too can only earn from borrowed time.
I return to school a growed up man,
And stand in halls where words were thick.
I’m seeking Paul, who gobs in the hair
Of girls he craves affection from.
But he’s not here.
Instead, he scaffolds, drinks, and tries
Women with whistles, not phlegm.
I look for Claire, who keeps to herself;
Who cries at lunch on toilet seats.
But she’s not here.
She’s trying to stay happy for the man
Who gave her kids and took the rest.
I search for myself, who tries to learn;
Who ruins books by using them
As paper shields instead of swords;
Who spends time running from others
Instead of finding himself.
But he’s not here either.
He’s back at school again, hoping
To find what he lost.