Poem For The Weekend #51

What’s nice about a paperback
that someone lets you borrow is the spine
is broken and the pages fall open
on the table like a hinge
or a dancer’s legs. You don’t have to balance
tacos in one hand and make a bookstand
with the other. You don’t have to worry
about chili oil in the margins
as much. You don’t even have to read it,
not really, since the point of a book
at lunch is to appear engaged
and in the best of company and not
to make the table next to you,
where a couple of humans
share an appetizer, worry
about you, all alone.
The server won’t know, though.
Does a paperback–of poems!–
mean you need extra attention,
more water, anything? Well, what’s nice
about a paperback that someone
has already read is it isn’t too shy
and doesn’t mind if you just listen,
don’t say much, eat tacos, get distracted
thinking about those humans
and their salsa in a story,
what they would say.

– Sarah Suksiri