the titles reached up high,
the mountains of fantasy
dominating the upper reaches
in long stretches of hard-to-say
names and strange england-like
lands, then came the crime
in black-and-white city streets
and men with eyes too haggard,
then bright-souled coming of age
novels, asking for optimism and love.
at the bottom sat the poems
tucked into notebooks.
you could work with nights like this
where the memories are blurred
and the rain is underwhelming
and you miss midafternoon coffee.
there’s a dosage you remember
that dealt with nights like this,
but they were all long ago
dead in different / same problems,
now her face is blurred
her fingertips are waxy,
waned with all the words
I’ve stuttered through since.