Ode to Borrowed Books

your books quietly sitting in my shelf;

camouflaging among Dos, Rilke and Hughes;

look how easy they can adapt and fit in spaces between my books–

one writer ended ended his life after finishing his four novels

a fool.


but he belonged. he has all right to be left at peace

against the bluish wall, in the wooden shelf colonized by termites

lying myself, quietly watching them

your books looked good with mine.


why don’t we live together. No. It wouldn’t be right.

This isn’t a love poem and I’m glad knowing that–

I just want your books, all mine.

them having conversation about their owners:


“Yes he spilled coffee in my page 86th!”

“I got mine worse! He violated me with his oily filthy fatty fingers!”

if books can speak, will they tell me more about you,

more than what you told me about yourself, woman?


whose favorite writer is listed at my 17th.

It’s either you are a devoted reader or I’m just a pretentious writer

doing magic sucking concentrated literary juices from these dead writers

May they forgive me.


I’m going to sell them one day. That’s certain.

But how it would burn my conscience. May they forgive me.

I arranged them according to their race:

orientals. americans. europeans. I’m a filthy bibliophile.


She once said I should take care of my books;

but look at them now: tattered, teared, rat stricken, coverless,

spineless books– my exposed embarassments

No. This is the only way I know to love.


They are more beautiful when ravaged.

or maybe I’m just a sadist. May they forgive me.

And I watch your books trembling in fear:

Will they suffer the same fate?


I laughed tears because this is not a love poem

neither for them nor for their owners, my lovers.


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