· poetry

I often think of books, the way they stack so neatly, the way hard covers lay flat the pages like a quilt over rumpled sheets. Old books have this smell, as if they’ve traveled to other worlds and back; its the type of smell that gets caught in your nostrils — -thick and dust laden — -that saturate your senses with visions of forgotten library shelves and chest-locked treasures of old. I think books mysteries to be captured, wells of knowledge to be drunk; I wish I could sip the words from the pages, drinking in their flavor, I wish I could bite off the pages and chew on their metaphors, pausing to taste the current beneath them. My favorite books are the really old ones, with pages cut at jarring angles and jutting out like uneven staircases climbing between the title and closing word. These books are the most mysterious of all, usually adorned with coffee stains and dressed with tears from tattered finger marks; such are the books that jump out at me from still quiet corners of the bookstore, the ones that ebb on my liquid imagination, feeding my thoughts with edible words.

By Riah Raine

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