Paperback Scratches

If life were a sequence of words
I think it’d be fair for the whole story to be italicized,
for every ounce of ink stresses worth, every ounce prized

But then again, what’d be the effect?
Italics would become normal, and you’d read right past
their significance, never admitting you’re reading too fast

Remember what happened in chapter four?
Maybe you were rushed to the hospital, being kept alive
You couldn’t wait until you got to chapter five

But the next pages brought more scars
Maybe your heart was broken and needed a fix,
yours a tragedy and it was just chapter six

If you could know the author, would you?
Would you not storm him with questions, asking
“Why would you write such a story and go on laughing?”

And he’d merely reply,
“If only you could have seen the next chapter,
then you’d be joining in on the laughter!”

You can see both chapters clearly now
and you go right on by reading past the resolution,
assuming the pain of chapter four is the conclusion

Only from pages and pages later
are you able to look back and see the ink drying
In awe of who you are now, simultaneously laughing and crying

All the better from the suffering
You’re like a tree etched with lovers’ marks,
its branches full of songbirds and singing larks

The writer has to scratch the paper
if he is to write a grand story such as yours
Continue on past the thickets and sores

Paperback books must be bent
if they’re ever to be read and enjoyed
Mind the creases and corners destroy’d

Little do we know
that there’s even a second book being written
of all triumph and nothing sour nor smitten

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