On Needing Books

by Emily Bernard


You stood there with

your chalkboard and talked us

into growing up


We disassembled

the tree-house, let crayons fall

under couches


Our guardian

angels doubling as one-night

stands until love enters

the vernacular


We will wed

men and women with

certificates for family institutions;



becomes incestuous in America

but I'm not convinced

that's the way


Parts of us

will be lost in unexpected places

as bicycles stolen

outside the public libraries—


The word wonder

will be used, still, and that's

not an accident.