A Night at the Library


By Andrew Unruh

The modest of cities houses the modest of libraries
where I roam as if a ghostly figure,
merely haunting the stacks, whose books are filled with
ghosts of their own, yearning to be set free.

A gentle rain patters the windows, while
the sky turns from deep blue to inky black—
the library itself almost breaths, as if a
sleeping cat, curled upon the foot of a bed.

I move up and down the stairs,
while a fellow patron stares at me as I pass,
and I imagine him silently judging me,
probably thinking “I bet he doesn’t even live in this city.”

All I can do is meet his stare with my own.  My gaze
an almost listless expression, the kind found on someone caught
between boredom and a vague interest in what one is doing—
merely worn as a show, as to not look too clinically depressed.

I make my way through the fiction—
past Faulkner and Fitzgerald, past Joyce and Kerouac—
I find myself in the back, among the poetry,
and sit down with a pile of Ginsberg.

I wade through his verses, and the words—
the words seem to almost shout and
barge into each other, like drunks
looking for a fight.

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By Emily Simpson

Alone, damaged beyond repair.
Empty yet full of darkness,
Full of the essence of oblivion.
Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
The blackness consumes me completely.
I’m Alice, falling down the rabbit hole
Forever spiraling downward with no end in sight.
What is it to be whole, to be complete?
Is it giving in to the darkness?
Letting it wrap me in its warm embrace,
Comforted by the nothingness.
Or is it the constant struggle?
Constantly picking up the pieces,
Hoping one day to find the final element.
This can’t be all there is to life,
Holding on to the edge of sanity,
Praying to just make it through another day.

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