Pages are annoying turning at will answering the breeze: inquisitive fingertips pry, caress pages; they flutter open, fan-tailed, 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