Pages are annoying
turning at will 
answering the breeze:
inquisitive fingertips
pry, caress pages;
they flutter open,
as a proud peacock
strutting its highlights:
powerful verbs,
glossy syntax,
scintillating similes,
eye-popping personification
       -       all explode like literary fireworks…

My eye trails,
following bursts of light;
I walk a silvered path -
it shimmers, glows
like a hand-held beacon
leading to a moonlit cottage,
where cushioned beds,
romance-laced walls
invite classic love:
kisses hang from vines;
idyllic strokes
of love’s literature
bedecks book shelves -
all unbound, open,
fluttering freely
as released cage birds. 

I touch upturned faces 
as long lost friends,
feel hand-stitched covers
tracing intricacies 
of spines,
feeling vertebrae chapters. 
Unspoken lines are read
with an intuitive mind:
engrossed, buoyant,
floating weightless,
on literary love –
a winged muse. 

He waits for me here
like a ravenous wolf.

He sits as I arrive
munching metaphors,
rotating rhetorical questions 
in fanged jaws
popping imaginary cherries
while inhaling heady juice. 
He chews plot-lines,
follows character arcs
with a clawed, heathen finger. 

I shut them all,
hiding lined, bookish faces,
clutch them under 
my red velveteen coat;
claiming back babies
from furred, frenzied clutches. 

“Leave” I holler. “You are no poet.”

His love is hollow
bristled as a thorny god. 
He is wolfishly self-satisfying
like a primate –
banal, lacking style,
real substance;
no nuances of genius are his:
no natural flair
paints his shaggy mane. 

He is monotone,
matted, lost
within his own hairy knots. 
Like barbed wire
they slice my skin,
deeper than cheese string. 
I used to marvel 
at its reddish fire,
now it blinkers my eyes 
       -    burning them closed. 

He leaves. I rejoice. 

Inked pen in hand,
I poise it particularly, 
poignantly primed,
readied to write
another open book -
crafted by a thinking hand,
fuelled by my beating,
bookish heart. Mine.
All mine. 

by Emma Wells

Emma is a mother and English teacher. She has poetry published with various literary journals and magazines. She enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories also. Her debut novel, Shelley’s Sisterhood, is due to be published in 2022. Follow her on Instagram @ewellswriting