M(Ant) Progress Report

(i)
On the top floor of the library
a book lies sideways
on the top of the shelving
losing its identity
under layers of dust

(ii)
Without the disguise of a dust jacket
aging fabric yellows
as the worlds inside the pages
batter against the spine,
afflicted by locked in syndrome
of the literary kind

(iii)
Paperback versions
of the end of the world
congregate on my dresser
like a jenga tower.
Ice sandwiches knowledge
in seasonal layers,
waiting to be drilled
and perilously close to collapse.

(iv)
$4.25 may not sound like much
but for a grad student
who has just dodged a fine
for late library books,
it’s a small victory.

After

That night she slept naked and alone,
waking to a diluted sky
and swollen eyelids where mascara should have been.

Double duck-taped and boxed in the corner,
shelves full of memories
The lives between the pages fading sepia,
draining colour year by year
as time sped up.

The walls were bare
yet the ghosts of building blocks,
of family bickering and of laughter filled the space,
stifled the room and she had to open all the windows
just to make room to think.

If only all ghosts were so easily banished
But her worry dolls had gone missing in the shift
And with no one to talk to the words ate each other,
Ate themselves,
Then ate up her tongue