Lament of a Bibliophiliac

They’re taking over again

reproducing like black flies

around standing water

As soon as I lend out my suitcases

arrange for a new phone number

settle-in with a few old companions

who are content to lie about

and live off scraps of my time

they begin to accumulate

in the nooks, the corners

the flat spaces of my life

At first, the odd one

wanders by on a whim, a curiosity,

and sympathetic towards my weakness

suggests a friend in need of rescue

from the doldrums of dust

Sensing I am a carpenter at heart

and love to build shelves

some flaunt their spines

wear soft leather and gold braid

name drop and hint at gaps in my knowledge

others attach themselves to me

like battered dogs and stray cats

demand more light

insist on a place with a view

they climb my walls

crowd my bed

nourishing insomnia

while entertaining

with their wit and wisdom

I develop a word rash,

a sentence phobia

look forward to obscure holidays

introduce them to my relatives

recommend them to my neighbors

arrange blind dates

with bored librarians

until, I’m forced to cull & prune

herd them into boxes

pack my suitcases,

cancel my phone

and move on

with a few of my old companions

who ask nothing more

than to be read and reread

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