Small stack of books not yet read. Their titles draw me in.
Virgil, the poet who died of a fever; poet to emperors and Rome.
His poetry of the land, Georgics. Kenneth Rexroth translations
of Japanese poetry, one hundred of them. The Grandview Hotel
poets from Peoria, Illinois, write together about the weather,
changing of seasons, bluffs and bridges. My friend hands me another
for the stack. She knows my heart. “You can borrow this if you take
really good care, no coffee stains.” It is the Peoria writers’ work in
letterpress, fine paper, portfolioed, each piece a work of art.
I am afraid to open it. A delicate thread creates a closure on the front.
It is the opening. Are my hands clean enough? I ask myself.
I imagine myself enmeshed in reading each line, those words
embedded into the paper, an art of poetry. A drop of blood falls
from my nose and I am horrified. How can this happen? How
can I tell my friend that a spot of blood is there. I could hide it,
hope she never goes back to the page where the stain was spilled.
I could remove the blighted piece and hope she does not miss it.
My remorse that I could not write this, could not design this, could
not print this. My drop of blood the revealer of my lust and
inadequacy. I bleed for more than what I am.