Thursday, 30 November 2017

In absentia


The vulval pages of an old book,
fingered in absentia.
Who has held these aged, dry pages?
Or fallen in love with these luscious words?
Spread the pages slowly and inhale deeply.
Smell the ghost of a chance encounter.
Close them around you and bury your face there.

Where are they now? The lovers of the words?
Where has this book been sitting for all the years?
The slight patina of rust age, truant upon the pages.
The slight tang of dried must.
The addiction of our séance is chilling.
The question is - why my question?
Why the obsessive evisceration of the lineage?
Wrestling with: who touched or kissed these pages?

The chase upon the tantalizing carousel of aroma.
Be it musk, or pipe smoke,
perfume or the ambivalence of petal pages,
borrowed for a time from time;
adding another layer to the ownership of dwelling,
where all the silences are bubbles of virtual knowing,
of the shared poetry of the souls who wrote, and read,
or annotated this book, deep asleep now, cheek to cheek.

The germinal emotion evinced by the prima facie
realisation that there were other hands who owned this book.
An a priori feeling for their knowledge of the words,
even as they were first laid down. The emotion
spawning membership of an exclusive ghoul of ghosts,
in thrall to those who have gone before,
who left these the olfactory clues.

Cry for them, and cry for yourself, for you will never know them,
even as you know of them, and, in this unrequited state,
read on and succumb to their seduction.
Inhale the heady fumes of a purblind consummation,
that post-coital torpor adrift in a dreamy conception.
Your low smile at the birth of an understanding,
that a book of poetry is lonely soul,
reaching beyond its many unrequited loves.
Reaching for you.

Yes, you are the one, my darling reader,
you are indeed the one.

Breath deeply of me as you turn my pages.

Anon anon

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