If you are a booklover as I am, can you imagine a better final end than this?


First editions, clean and primly
jacketed, bore me.  I cherish those
lived in, lived with, a note card or
flower left between pages.

I have pored through such tomes
as if to find in them a future
project, a new idea.  I
can see clearly now my

self on a back shelf in a used
bookstore, loose cover, yellow pages,
among books not classified: is it
history, is it romance, is it

worth the paper it’s printed on?
The seller believes there’s a circle
in hell for those who burn books,
will find a ring in purgatory for

those who cannot discard one.  He
never comes here to dust.  I lean
against another volume, convinced 
there are worse ends than this.

This poem is from my collection in Ascent: Five Southwestern Women Poets (see Books page.)