I put myself in the category “undateable,”

Extraterrestrial next to your tank-top bicep

1/4in-to-fade cut –

You haven’t read a book

since high school, spark notes sloppily

hit with a yellow highlighter,

and I’ve felt worlds shift

inside these ribs,

loved and grieved through stories.

Wept for figments

written with souls deeper than

the pockets you’re proud of,

chapters who were better lovers

than your lifeless eyes

unmoved when I told you about

Tolkein’s language,

Bradbury’s fire

or Gatsby’s hope.

I’ll keep my heart in these pages,

a warmer hearth than cold minds and eyes.

Alex Bragg, 2018


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