January 6, 2018

empty bottles and full ashtrays

when I was child in my house,
there was a book
of poems
written by Hafez,
and my parents didn’t have to tell me
that it was filled with magic.

like an ancient soothsayer-

it’s unadorned cover
was dressed in an olive canvas skin-
the spine barely bound
by course crumbling string,
the pages were delicate leaves
veined by a fluid Persian script-

it followed us
from house to house,
year to year,
across a childhood
and into the ether of memory
and vital forgotten momentos.

i explored its mysticism
early Sunday mornings
as my parents slept in their room.
the book laid open upon the table with
empty bottles and full ashtrays.

unable to read the text,
i held its fragile frame
in my lap,
gently running my fingers
across the pages
and the cover…

i made wish.
begged for a direction.
they would stay together.

i’m not sure who ended up with the book of Hafez poems.
as far as I could see,
after the divorce,
it lost most of its magic.

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