I sort through bookshelf stacks,
trying to figure out which books 
I could donate to the library, 
which ones might go 
to students.

Every two or three, I stop
to read a page, a chapter, recalling
when I bought it and what for: a grad
school paper or assignment, a lecture
in a class on form. 

How many times
a year did I tell myself No more,
there's no more room? 

But to live
in the imagination 
requires as much furniture 
as in real life; perhaps more— 

Not one
but several books for longing,
for pleasure, for pain. You read
at night, before putting your head 
on a pillow which could soon 
turn to stone; but not yet—

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