there’s a hill of self-help books, secondhand.
There’s a tower of tomes that tried to get rich quick,
signed by the author, never read.
Who trussed a cookbook with string
to keep it from falling off its bones?
What chewed a fat anthology of poetry,
property of an air base in Newfoundland?
Look: a rat gnawed the spine and then gave up.
Snow won’t stop falling in long Russian novels
that failed to make Florida shiver enough
to turn the page. Their paper yellowed.
Jackets ajar, they lean on each other.
Tell me, silverfish, have I ever felt so at home?
Dictionaries block an aisle, a bed of boulders.
Dog-ears folded forever, listen:
by the gallon, the barrel, by the galleon,
a gunmetal sky pours out its troubles
to the tin roof bent over us, an open book.
Cloud-soft hammers pound water into nails.
Debora Greger’s new book of poems, By Herself, was published by Penguin in 2012. She is the Poet-in-Residence at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida.