Now the Books
Now the books crowd around me, hissing,
and all the words crawl frantically: the letter-
feelers waving and groping, and all
looking for consummations I can't deliver,
for the honey sweet of perfect understanding.
I do not know how I ever loved
bookstores and libraries; I think it was only
that I didn't understand that all those books
were written by people like me, desperate
for connection. No price
of lies or misdirection
too high to pay; only
listen to me! they plead, and
make me special, just this once!
You may be the last
who ever will pick up this book.
I am: I am the very last,
and it is too much to bear.
I can't read you all. I am a feckless tourist
who gives a few rupees and then runs,
pursued by beggars, and stumbles on the steps
of his hotel. I have no more to give.