© 2019 Ruut DeMeo // featuring art by Tanya Ragir

photos of the artist: Steven Parke 

if I were a book

Fine Print Literary Magazine, May 2018

If my life were a book

and you went out and bought it

I wouldn't care if you bought it for full price, hardcover, pages trimmed clean 

fresh off the press

Or that you were at the signing

eager and grinning. Listening for your favorite passage.

 

I'd rather you stumble on it

anywhere

in a thrift shop sale bin

these books must go! ten for a dollar!

You’d pick it out, your fingers feeling its bent, tattered chapters

Ear-marked pages barely hanging on between broken-in covers

Read, time and time again.

 

And then, when someone saw it on your shelf and said

I heard that one was good, what did you think?

I’d want you to swallow the wine in your mouth, set your glass down and say

I couldn't put it down.

And when it was over I cried

it was such a good story

 

And even if you said

I hated the way it made me uncomfortable

but I had to keep reading

I saw myself, I didn't want to

You should read it, and decide for yourself

 

But if you said

That one? I can't remember

 

then I wouldn't want to be a book at all.