When I was working in retail as my first job after high school, I was assigned to clean the store every morning, before the crowds came in. I would go through each eisle lost in a daze, with deep awe of all the thought in that building. I did this every morning, watching the bookshelves, every title, and wondered if there was a secret to it all. Then when I moved into my section, in the very back, I dreamed of working in the fiction section, attended to by the college students. It would be years until I had enough to get to that. But every day I saw Ulysees, on the third shelf with it’s cover turned toward the eisle, and thought, that must be it. I read it off and on for years. I went to Ireland alone to go to the Martello tower, and try and retrace what I had read. But maybe it was in the moments in between, the clear pathways to each of the books, the bookstore itself, that was that focus. So I wrote a quick poem.
In my mind I see a city, though I never know if it is real or a dream, in visions, in stories and maps. So soft, so vast, as if made of an entire used bookstore, page by page, the feeling of ink in air, drifting, through the corridors, as light falls across each page.