by Kate   May 5, 2022

I went into the bookstore today.
You know the one.
With prints and a blue whale by the door,
Shelves stocked with withered spines,
A smell that could make you delightfully sigh.
I falter, hesitant, contemplating entry
But I fail to stay just outside the open door.
The inside radiates both warmth and comfort,
Feeling like home when I am a stranger.
Rich wood shelves line the walls, stuffed full,
With a couch in the middle I cannot look at.
I can almost see your outline there, watching.
I rummage through prints, eyeing them closely.
I settle one one of a pink and yellow tulip.
How typical of me.
You would probably laugh at me for it.
I can almost hear its echo as I move on,
Following old signage overhead for guidance.
My daydreams follow me like a ghost.
I feel you’d gravitate to the mythology section,
But finding disappointment at the lack thereof.
From out of that back corner you would move,
Running your fingers over titles just as I did.
You breeze through the fiction and crime,
Commenting on a few of the classics,
Maybe settle into a poetry book up front,
Or a cookbook, or the children’s section.
You would give the shop dog a pet as we go,
Commenting on the cashier’s lovely accent
As we rejoin the brick street just outside again,
The smell of coffee and spring around us.

I went looking to gather more pieces of you,
And I left feeling emptier than when I came.


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