until around 17, the closest thing to my house besides a gas station was a rinky-dink library, about a mile away consisting of one room, & about 5 stacks. I would ride my bike to it blind of boredom, my skinny black dog galloping alongside. I spent summers copying Whitman into my notebook, eyeliner tips from Teen Magazine. In my plastic wallet I carried love scenes. Surreptitiously extracted from novels with an exacto knife were the parts of stories where people got what they gave, last goodbyes, & first kisses so heartrending the lovers had to ‘come up for air,’ like fuckin’ narwhals.
I was the King Haggard of the Gunter Branch Library, somehow insatiable, starving for beauty in a muddy shit-town, my imagination cultivated by isolation & paucity. Without one certain page, Rapunzel stays in the tower, Snow White keeps sleeping. We wait hours & lives for divine intervention. Triumphs that without, render the stories banal, I scavenged. What lovesick lass giddily turned the page to find the fragment of an unrequited confession? Maybe I did her a favor I don't know.