Clerk

Cracked spines and
Dulled jackets enfold
Dusty old things slanting
On shelves, labeled
 meaning

Silently weigh
Their collective contributions
Unbearable

Cold-blooded they watch
the passing hand
from columns of calculated neglect
from the top shelf of the framework
bent out of all proportion:

Predetermined pages,
the numbers
whispering, determine
every fate.


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