Bernadette McAloon

November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Library Lover

I wrestle you from damp tweed,
escape the cloistered air, carry you to the farthest field,

where I uncover you, open you wide,
caress your spine, explore you inside.

You relinquish the treasures of reliquaries,
anoint me with the oils of apothecaries,

we make sacrilegious trysts to misbegotten places
where you whisper the stories behind paper faces.

I learn the truth about the lotus hook, the Venetian chopine,
Victorian corsetry: its fractured ribs, its ruptured spleen;

the railings and chaining of the suffrage quest,
the way strange fruit grew into songs of protest.

I’m released from my matrilineal fate
with a pen and a choice of ways to conjugate.

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