Claire Askew

November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Books

I like to bend them to my will
turn their spines inverse like gymnasts,
crack their skin ’til it’s crazed and veined
like an old lady’s palm. I deface the pages:
marginalia scattered and stark as a rash,
corners folded, fingered thin and soft
as a cotton fiver, circled
with the cold, grey footprints of tea.

I like them lived in as a marriage bed,
loose enough to open of their own accord
and shock me with a lucky-dip of verse.
The chatter-spit of ancient binding:
pages coming out in chunks like teeth.
They wait for me on library shelves,
asleep, stiff as exclamation marks
and my fingers itch to break in every one.

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