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In the Book

ISSUE:  Spring 2015

In the book when the boy nearly drowned 
his legs wrapped in weeds or maybe rope 

I was gripped and followed his footsteps 
along the dune road to the heavy church 
door that eased open at the touch of one hand

breathing cool air out against his face 
his sodden trousers wrapping his calves 
wet cuffs breaded white with sand 

and everyone turned to look and saw 
nothing but a dark door haloed with light 
pushed opened by a breeze, no boy at all—

the scene was so real time slipped
into its spiraled shell and pulled its 
feelers behind the hinged clasp

and I stood to pour myself a glass 
of something strong enough to cut
through the feeling when I opened

those crisp pages again 
to find the boy still struggling 
to kick himself free 

of that grasping kelp
then heave himself 
onto the packed sand 

his fingers carving
trails as he sputtered
and coughed

and though stunned 
was soon fine.

I riffled numbly 
forward then back 
then forward
again and slowly 

searched the entire
book but the scene 
at the church was gone.


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