If he were a book….
An old, leather-bound book with creasy pages and that inky-paper smell.
The yellowed pages that crackle and release secrets with each puff of dust.
He wouldn’t be that book.
But he would be that book in the making.
His leather would be supple and new, shining in the light of day, not by candlelight.
His script would jump off the page, dark and bold, still crisp, not yet bled in or faded.
The pages would slide, smoothly, and instead of resembling the folds of old bark
They would resemble the layers in shale --
Uniform, stacked, wafer-thin.
Even though there would be pages upon pages
Only a small fraction would have been written in.
He’s the kind of book
That no one has yet picked up and taken the time to thumb through
Slowly, savoring the scrawling text and loopy words.
No one has dogeared their favorite pages
Or spent nights poring over the language found there.
No one has yet taken the time to appreciate
The lazy flip of his pages
Or read it so much
That there are finger smudges on all of the edges.
Sure, he’s been picked up a few times --
But some decided
That he wasn’t their kind of book,
Or they tried to hold on too tightly to the fact that he was one.
They didn’t understand that it’s not the pages
Or the leather
Or the smell
That makes a book.
Those are all very nice things, for sure,
But it’s the words
that leave you in silence
When the last page turns
And the story ends.
And I don’t presume to be so lucky
As to be there when the story does end.
But I hope
That I can read that book
And I hope that some of my fingerprints make their way
Onto his story.