Yesterday, my wife, my son, and I journeyed to a charming, little town, Branchville, New Jersey. Broad Street was our destination, Broad Street Books, an equally charming used book store, a store, I believe, full of magic. Books are magic. Old books possess delights well beyond their ink.
Slowly, slide old books, the books with brittle pages
and bindings as thick as riddles, into their proper places,
into the shadows between shelves in a room blessed
with candlelight and sweet aromas, tobacco and honey,
but never slide a book too deep into its perch.
Air must circulate in the darkness between each page’s edge
and the shelf wall if the breath of each story is to creep
from the ink, that black elegance from whence it was born.
Then, as long as your candles burn, you’ll hear dragon hearts
thump as deep as myth from the dim between trees
and spy winged sylphs strumming harps fashioned
from wishbones and leprechaun hair… listen, watch.