A Ghost in the Local Bookstore

That day, when they met again, by chance
In the bookstore, both looking for works
By Stephen King— their hands reach
For the last hardcover copy of Doctor Sleep
At once
And touch
They recognise each other; her face; his disasters;
Her thwarted hopes; his magnificent eyes.
And there, in each other’s bewilderment.
He knew exactly what to say, how to smile,
How to raise his eyebrow with a low degree of irony
How to nod rapidly when he agrees.
They began to speak as if there was a conversation held off
For the next meet.
He noticed her heart-shaped lips,
And poetry books.
Even told her to read him some,
And if she could perhaps recommend a good poet to him.
Tyler Knott, she said if he wanted raw emotion
Joel Derfner, if he wanted humor
Neil Hilborn, if he wanted both.
“And if I wanted to read just yours, how your poetry would be?” he asked.
She scarcely wrote some.
To her, it was easy to write about crashing and broken things,
Losing yourself and the 1001 ways to describe sadness.
There is enough of those in the world, she said.
She wrote poetry when she was at the highest point of her life;
So she can look at them when she drowned in the lowest.
When she’s 22 and dancing half naked to all the songs
She listened to when she was sad in middle school
And smile broadly and scream happily at the realization
That everything is now different,
But everything is good.
Journals in verses, she described it to him.
It is important to write about happiness.
Not the kind of happiness that has flesh and the ability to breathe,
But the happiness within yourself.
About love and life,
Adventures and faces you’ll never forget,
When you sneaked out of the house on a sunday night,
Or fell in love from the first sight.
Anytime your heartbeat was louder than your words.
How she will never regret anything she did between birth and deathbed
The times when she fell in love when she stood in front of the mirror
And loved her own curves and stretch marks and yellow skin that looked like a tanned dough.
Or the way she found pleasure in as many simple things as possible.
I like to write poems that remind me to sing along with thunder, she told him.

And many months later…
When she faces the blank page,
On a moonless night.
She still thinks about him
And hopes the girl who wrote poetry
Still crosses his mind.

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