and in the shop…
“Nearly the Happy Hour”,
It slips from a paperback (second-hand, surely,
even then) whose spine crinkles like bark
and familiar pages fur along the edge.
Back by 8. Don’t wait.
I’ve got the milk. Love.
No name, no date. No need
as the known hand looped and rose in haste,
slanting into the future and the torn half-sheet
blotched, somehow. Damp has found these books.
Bookmark, maybe, caught up when time ran out
but with this promise: something to return to.
And what’s there to keep except (perhaps) Love?
Why not a text? asks the child,
all thumbs, not looking up from his screen.
There is so much to explain.