What the bookworm wants

the bookworm knows where to find her favorite book amass the novels wedged between

an old Polaroid camera and bookends
edging over for some elbow room
tight-roping overstuffed shelves

 

She knows her favorite quotes by heart
and can rattle off Wilde’s epigrams
one fit for 
almost any occasion
and if it’s stuck on                        
the tip                               
of her to tongue
she will dedicate her life to seizing it.

 

the bookworm knows the secret code of poets

and understands the Romantics’ self-defeat 
at never quite securing the essence of the sublime

 

She wants to create a Mr. Darcy and a Heathcliff
to linger in the minds of girls years after reading—
a black ink love affair

 

the bookworm feels uneasy around unmarked books

whose covers haven’t yet been creased with embrace
and pages are still 
unkissed by pens and post its and tears
she will rescue it from the second hand shop anyway
to show it what it is like to be loved
and admired

 

She knows the truths revealed within these chapters

and yearns for her students to

trade in MTV for T.S. Elliot

and People Magazine for dystopian fantasies
demand a refund for mindless, uniform t.v. screen prophecies

and invest in the exponential growth of their minds

 

the bookworm wants to tear down the velvet rope of the canon
toss an end out the window of stuffy, Catholic college prep schools

and allow the voices of the silenced to climb up
and be heard

 

She desperately wants to have a story to tell
to people filled in coffee shops and bookstores
or even on the bus…

 

the bookworm wants to write a classic

 

she longs to be rejuvenated by the West Wind
and allow creativity to free her from insecure thoughts
tied to her soles
that weigh her soul down to the earth
so she may dream
again
 

the bookworm needs inspiration
needs to visit far-off imaginary places

take more reckless or ill-advised chances
ask herself what exactly the point of
brooding in bed all fucking day is
have her heart tattered to shreds like woodchips from branches
and then placed all together again in neat heaps
where playground children with skinned knees
will remind her how life

doesn’t always move

so

goddamn slowly


yet the bookworm doesn’t have the time
no, the bookworm doesn’t have the words
rather, the bookworm doesn’t have the means

alas, the bookworm doesn’t have the courage to create

 

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