by Michelle Hartman

A long slow tea-shoppe-lit English afternoon
and the bench opposite the book store
is blessedly empty. From its far left side
one can observe the store owner
sly hinge of my desire.
____________________His hands
caress bindings, stroke pages.
He softly sighs when perfection
is perceived. Behind & around him,
rows of doors;
to fairylands,
& barns filled with love-sick cowboys.

______________________His body
was carved late at night
in moonlight, by an absent-minded archangel
who did not know when to stop. Books
heavy as centuries, heavy as this knot in my gut
start to look like rows
of gritted teeth
keeping me at bay.
__________Tomorrow I will conquer
that shop door
tomorrow and tomorrow
stretches out
a series of padlocks.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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