death bed (the silent spines of books)

In other words, they were attached by a slender thread.
“Scheherazade,” Haruki Murakami

I tell you miserable things after you are asleep
“Conversation 16,” The National

Living is also dying
he told her holding a worn paperback
But dying is never living

he could not stop himself
from smiling and looking away
when he talked biology and language

If you will join me in my death bed
I will tell you wordless stories every night
like the silent spines of books

words were the great gymnastics
that allowed him to tell her
his beating heart lived for her

and then

“The difference between a sentence and a line”
she heard his voice reading
although his lips never moved

she pulled his hand to her bare thigh
pressing hers on top of his warming there
hoping the stories would last forever

like a blackberry jam stain fingerprint
on the corner of the novel’s page
he read aloud to her the very first time

—P.L. Thomas

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