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I have never understood
why you abandon books.

You leave them hewn
half-open, peaked like
the homestead tents
of tiny lost settlers

trying to build a life
in strange lands:
carpet, coffee table,
the open wilderness
of the kitchen counter.

Sometimes I pick them up,
just to meet the character
you left nursing a beer
and a bloody wound
in a shady Boston bar,

the fright-eyed one
hiding under thorn bushes
from goblins and wolves,
the mother with hair
like sunset and her finger
on the trigger of a gun

and I have started
to notice a trend:
you put down stories
as soon as their central
conflict is revealed

and this explains
why you are not here now.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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