the way it came off

I blew on the pages of Ingeborg Bachmann – The Barking.
Then I turned to the left and blew on the closed cover of Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy.
It did nothing.
The pages of Bachmann at least shuffled a bit,
those microscopic pages of a college anthology text-book,
carried out in the sunlight, so proud
at the heft of them in your bag.
Or it in your arms, so paternal.
One-tenth of you will be mine one day.

I blew on Charles Simic’s Walking the Black Cat,
and though I’d only read a few poems,
a slight dust came off the book when I blew,
a soft something of dust to say hello.
A soft something that may not matter.

I’d say hello to Anne Sexton but she would think this all too easy,
and quite a bit tired.  Or she’d laugh and laugh and laugh.
Oh, that would be just the best; Anne Sexton laughing in
her front yard, those videos we’ve seen online, those remnants -

layer residual -

stop. be smart now

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