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What are you reading?

Does it flow into your world,

slipping in tiny truths between sentences,

truths that inexplicably fold perfectly into your heart?

Does it follow the movement of time?

reminding you of where you are,

reminding you of the birds outside,

of the light leaking from the windows across the street.

reminding you to look, to breathe


and out

Though it is a story, separate from your own, does it somehow fit?

Or does time stop completely?

When you slide your index down to turn the page,

does the whole world rattle in your fingertips?

Do you find yourself gasping for air

under a surface made of only words,

words that drown out everything else and make you forget.

Do you forget,

that you aren’t in a cave filled with cockles and clams,

or sitting with guests in a great dining hall?

And when your stomach growls because you forgot for far too long

do you look up from the page and suddenly find yourself feeling like you no longer fit?

When the book is shut and time has resumed,

Do you think about the voices?

About the way the world moves around the people,

and do you miss them

when you realize that you know them,

maybe better than you’ve ever known anyone.

Do you wish you were living their story,

or are you glad to have your own?

And when you pick up the book


how does it tingle your senses?

Are you warm? Are you cold?

Does it zip you up, twist you around,

or do you feel perfectly whole?

By Lila Ciesielski


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