Valeria Melchioretto


It would mean the world to me to have a spine, hard back or otherwise.
To have an ISBN number all to myself and rest on long shelves,
sandwiched by Marlowe and Milton, I would flirt with Penguin classics.

Or better still, be out on loan. Be carried in the mysteries of a handbag,
camping in the logic of a briefcases, wallowing in handkerchief secrets,
rubbing against sweet wrappers, mobile phones and notes to oneself,
float in the parallel universe of lunch boxes, embalmed by aftershave smells.

After having been several times renewed, I am still long, long overdue.
I am dog eared, tea stained, engrossed with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
My margins hold vital information, scribbled with a half-dried-up pen.
I dream of someone taking me to bed and fall asleep over me, dreaming.

Maybe I get taken on holiday, where I fill the gaps between the lines
with wind, sun and sand. I would be read by candle light, under armpits,
in the bath or bus, in dentist waiting rooms and on 'Merry Go Rounds',
could shock my reader with odd remark and explicit images into blushing.

I would love to be an excuse for people to meet, not out of interest in me
but in each other, as they leave me behind on some obscure park bench,
in the drizzling rain without book mark or cover sleeve.


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