I’ve known death through the pages of a book, and known it no other way.
I’ve seen blood drip off knives and felt the cold shiver down
my spine as the murderer slinks away but only through the pains the author took
to bring me through the world she told. Tell me is it less real
than your own? Tell me I don’t know how it feels to lose it all;
the pages gave me paper cuts for every friend I lost
along the way. I wear a pink sherpa and cry myself to sleep over Primrose Everdeen.
I beat my breast for Beth March and lost the love of my life when Sydney Carton
lost his head. I wept for days in bed for Tris Prior prior
to discovering the next tale on my shelf. My book case is full of death’s great wealth
of surprise demises to give me tears to cry
in recompense for having no experience of death
on my own. Alas, that is how I’ve learned that cold sting of loss
I can feel and free myself from at ease. I’ve known
sorrow through the eyes of a narrator and glimpsed in text the ache which is greater
than it has any right to be in the annals of a story. I’ve watched
and wept on a child’s early grave buried
beneath a stack of books and sold off at the next garage sale
along with a barrage of other red texts.
I’ve witnessed warriors burn out in all their glory in falsified battles
waging wars without context whose names and reasons I have
no reason to remember after the end of the last word of the final chapter. I know
what it is to cry out broken-hearted as the writer murders cruelly in the world
she designed for my mind
to suffer the hope of a new chapter. The bookends in existence seem awfully true
to me, but more cruel still must be the pains and plagues
of death in reality I have glimpsed only through the pages of a book
I like to pretend I know.