Valerie Loveland


An opportunity to implement a new filing system,
we store books in their logical places. Books
about plants grow in the window. Books
in the tub clean as effectively as water. The glossy covers
of vegetables rainbow the crisper. Our manuscripts
occupy our chairs at the dinner table. Eating
is unnecessary if the author writes descriptively enough.

Tonight we're having a presidential cookbook,
and for dessert: a picture book about cake decorating.
My winter text weighs more than my last coat,
but I receive compliments for the paragraph
about the trim on the sleeves. I hope it doesn't rain.
I often worry: did I close the catalog of vintage irons?
The softest novels for sleeping are about birds.

Their feathers cushion, and the passages on flying
pad with air. I slept on an astronomy magazine once,
but couldn't adjust to the weightlessness. I reside in a book
about a house made of books. A leather-bound home,
hard cover house. An insomniac, I read the walls
with a flashlight. If someone rings the doorbell,
its pages flutter.

Valerie Loveland is the author of Reanimated, Somehow (Scrambler Books, 2009). Her poetry appeared in Best of the Web Anthology 2008 and was featured at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. She is an optician apprentice, and lives in Massachusetts.

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