Summer Reading
by BJ Buckley

There's no turning back time, however much
we think of it as a book: infinite
pages falling open, the slightest touch
to leaf through hours, days, years, delicate
histories of breath and body, going
forward always, except in memory—
unreliable ghost, patchwork haunting,
only true in being transitory,
long ago, and in another country—
dead is dead, it's everything's last chapter.

All this morning thunderous ecstasy
gripped the river, lunatic laughter
of woodpeckers, trees' wrecked volumes crashing
from the banks, drowned folios of leaves
spilling vernal ink into that roaring
turbulence. It helps if you can believe
all kisses are indelible, love matters,
dust to glorious fiery dust returns—
sweet brush of skin on skin, mortal tatters,
beautiful unbound page by page, we burn.


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