weak green eyes blink noncommittally down the stairs,
those old rastafarian stairs,
those winky and slinky downstairs.
and the ragged shoes go clatter-clatter down those stairs.
and at the bottom, for a flash of an ounce of a glimmer—
the time bomb stopped—
the wise and cranky gentleman twirled:
presented his velveteen rabbit to you
plus his hat and his coat and his trousers and socks
and then he cuddled up his nose to you
as he stood whiskery in short pants,
yes, yes, and so he stood
pinching his mustachios, peering at you in the gloom
and stacks and stashes of hordes of books
loomed around and all about you
tilting and filling this old and revered hallway
this tired and happy bookstore
with its damp walls and its mildewed ceiling fans
and it’s be-spidered corners and creaking floors.
normally a happy time, but this night
(and I was there)
there appeared some writing on a wall
and the libros sweated a penchant sort of dread
and it was overwhelming (I could see it in your eyes),
far moreso than the leering gentleman in shorts…
but as you waited, waited for the other one to drop,
those book titles all lost their meanings,
their covers bled together until
all the words and pictures and letters and all
melted together and dripped to the floor.
they slipped through our skin:
we couldn’t speak them fast enough.
we nearly drowned in words that night.
I don’t know what happened to VI. Perhaps I skipped it, just to be whimsical. That seems like something I might have done. This was inspired by a very strange and vivid dream that I had. A dream about following an old man down some stairs. Then I added some other stuff. Sometimes in a dream you’re a you and an I. The books melting was the other part of the dream.