Dog Ears

Today I watched two books

leaning one against another

on a forgettable white shelf 

Only today did I notice they were the old and dog-eared kind of books

that lean patiently,

knowing that shelves are easily forgotten

and that those dipped pages

might never be noticed again

—the way a dog on a sidewalk stares back into 

an empty grocery door

for at least 3 eternal minutes 

its own dipped ears attuned to the single distant sound of a missing owner

And looking at these books I too heard that single distant sound

the sliding of a knot being tied

I felt it passing mutely between our arms

over 3 minutes that i didn’t even know had already passed

because I was looking at you on a dimly grey couch

wondering if you too noticed the slight draft of wind

generated by such vast arial pressure

between where you were going and where I stood right then

Yes, it became a string, and knotted itself around my hand

and around yours too

pulling me and in doing so reminding me 

that if ever I have anywhere to fall

it’s simply onto you

and your own dipped pages

Especially the ones that we dog-eared together 

at the same time. 

Kyle Studstill