The books the dried pages the dense air
the heater’s incessant roaring promising heat and
producing none. The thick stone walls
that hold in the chill. The windows spattered
with raindrops blown hard against them
vibrating in the wind. Somewhere outside a gutter
overflows the water slapping the stone. The granite windowsill
cold when I rest my hands on it the radiator
cold when I rest my hands on it the fluorescent bulbs
hang in fixtures without covers and every other one
seems to flicker. The filing cabinets no longer needed
miles of them lining the end walls on each floor a scrap metal
bonanza the shelves a darkened turquoise
a color no one can replicate
today full of books exactly what a library should be
full of books and the rest of it irrelevant
as long as I can get at those books.


8 thoughts on “Archetype

    • Me too. I think of all of the libraries I have known, and in the end, it all comes down to shelves of books, riches of words, so many stories in one place. I can go anywhere in the world, I think, and if I can find a library, I will feel safe, even if I don’t read the language, because sometimes I think I am comforted just holding a book.

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