When he first arrived at school
The pages of books still seemed so smooth—
His course books, his poetry books,
The books in the library in the late autumn sun—
Books he collected long ago when he was sick
And took to bed with him and fell asleep
With them resting on his chest, a finger
Still crooked on the spine, the even
Rising and falling of his breath rocking them to his side.
But soon he knows (How? He does not know)
Waking late on late November days
To a cold linoleum floor and a stack of half-read
Paperbacks by the bed—how he holds them at night like
Dolls, like a child does.
For the same simple reasons as a child.
And soon he knows (How? He does not know)
That the pages of books are really not so smooth,
And dolls are for sissies.
Fredric Sinclair is a Brooklyn-based author. Several of his plays have been produced in New York City, most recently at the Midtown International Theater Festival and Manhattan Repertory Theatre. His short works have appeared in Jersey Devil Press, Long River Review, and Verbicide, and he was awarded a spot at the 2015 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Fredric is currently at work on stories, a novel, and an art book collaboration.
He can be found on the Web at www.fredricsinclair.com.