the façade was impossibly ornate


The façade was impossibly ornate

Senseless contrast with the dust and debris of the road

He entered in spite of it

And forgot with the steward’s gesture in

Anyhow, that’s where he was going

The halls were dark wood

glistened to blurry mirrors

And at a glance the two became glowing rings in their reflection

like tigers submerged in pools beneath the caves of Delphi

they strode through the halls

the steward in the manner of habit worn until fitting

he as a sharp foil of flitting eyes that ate the ornamented rooms as they walked

Everything was like it was but seemed like something otherwise

Only the other way about

he felt he might’ve anticipated

they walked deliberately

But arrived quickly

affronting his curious wings

She gestured through a door saying

It is a thing of value more than the entirety of this building

More than my life or yours

More than the expanses sight- wrapped from any tower

Save only it remains just as it is


Without addition or mark

Or the loss of fleck

With that the doors swung slowly into an echoing close

And the room was in his hands

All dark save a pedestal illuminated in a stroke of light

It was the least obvious thing he had ever seen

there sat a thing in the shape of a book

a tome after some reflection

Bound in three ancient loops of twine

And a cover fashioned from the bark of an unseen birch

Thin, so thin he could see through the colors

As they bled off the glowing pages

Each made of pressed leaves and flowers

Older than a hundred grandma’s

And lighter than their drifting skin

He did not move

just the hint glimpse edges filled him with wondrous spirits

and he saw the book for what it was

it was as if all the nuance of the world was shocked at once

into a catalog of crystalline vision

the boy noticed no hint of time

in the presence of the volume

and knowing nothing of it

rested there looking as if

breath might make it break to dust

and at once a world filled the boy

no a million worlds!

and he knew the pages were the stitching of the worlds

and he knew that each was a passage and an end

and there were ends without ends

and he had no words or thoughts

in the resonating silence

he moved as if he was moved

and was as if he was

and he reached out into the floating space between the light and the dark


The steward’s footsteps made marks upon the air

The light of many rooms crossed along their lines

Such that one could not tell distances between them

Or the directions they had gone or going

In some places the floors were the same as the ceiling

In others was the same reversed

but taking notice, one could always tell if they were standing

only the steward could go though she couldn’t say what way

she was returning again

though so often done one could hardly have noticed

she rapped the door and slowly swung it open