William Ford: "My Old Paperbacks"



I can’t throw them away
though I have new editions
in firm cloth covers,
a few in biblical leather.

More often these days,
listening to music
as though in church,
I open one of them
to a newly split seam.

I crease back the pages
and draw a thin bead
of paste in the gap, not
too much I’ve learned
or the leaves bond
strangely and smudge
the underlinings
and annotations
of old joy and loss,
one page bleeding
into its neighbor.

Then I fit the sections
of spine back together
and put a stack of heavies
on top to keep it all
from wandering.


William Ford has had work in Brilliant Corners, Nashville Review, Verse Wisconsin, The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Weary Blues, and various other journals.