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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Jacob Salzer

Past Lives

In the bookstore, the wood floor creaks in certain areas where several generations walked across it. Some books are organized alphabetically by last name on steep shelves, while others are stacked on tables and desks like Leaning Towers of Pisa or rest in random places on the floor.

Many lifetimes sleep here, distilled in closed books, waiting to come to life again. Sometimes the dark ink bleeds through the pages, while other pages whisper or scream.

Opening the first page of The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, I hear the ocean crash against me, and feel the cold wind skimming across my face, as if the words have somehow touched hidden scars.

darkness . . .
a gold light bends
into its past


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