The Book

The Book

“To Mark Let the poetic sound of moons and stars invade your night thoughts to give you sweet dreams always for in your dreams lies the happiness you truly want. hope you enjoy the book Michelle”
–Message written on the flyleaf of a book

I saw the book–
its dustcover the azure
of the Mediterranean—
beckoning as the clear water did us,
and amid packing—
books, your books, your things–
I opened it, and remembered
how we were, lithe in the limpid blue,
then later reading this book, a gift,
you as bright as Keats’ star,
aware your blaze would soon be extinguished.

I rose with creaking knees
from the sea of boxes,
set the tear-dampened book
aside to keep, sensing your presence
like a nightlight in the next room
leaving a glow under the door,
and I thought I heard you say,
sweet dreams always, my love, goodbye.

For dVerse, Laura has chosen five inscriptions from the Book of Inscription Project. She’s asked us to write a poem based on one of them.

72 thoughts on “The Book

  1. This is a poignant flyleaf poem, Merril, which moved me with its use of colour in the ‘dustcover the azure of the Mediterranean’ and the ‘limpid blue’, and the reference to Keats’ bright star, which marks the shift to ‘your blaze would soon be extinguished’. I love the way you portray the writer in their old age, reminded of a lover by a ‘tear-dampened book’. I especially love the lines:
    ‘…sensing your presence
    like a nightlight in the next room
    leaving a glow under the door’.

  2. Oh Merril, this rips at the heart. Such genuine sentiment, expressed so tenderly — beautiful writing my friend. 🥲🕊🫶🏼

  3. I adore this part Merril:

    how we were, lithe in the limpid blue,
    then later reading this book, a gift,
    you as bright as Keats’ star,
    aware your blaze would soon be extinguished.

    Love that last line too: sweet dreams always, my love, goodbye.

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