Artwork borrowed from Unsplash.com
A Little Brown Book
This book is almost small enough
to fit in my palm. Its color
is cow-eye brown. Tiny stitches
circle its edges. It opens to narrow ruled
pages whose constraints I ignore.
I've been watching trains for
half a century. I still wonder
where they've come from, and think
about where they might be going.
The book's pages are filled
with nothing small or neat or unsullied.
I climb onto a train bound for New York City,
but I am going farther. The book
I clutch has the sharp tannin smell
of real leather. That part of the book
is genuine. There are no drawings
or sketches on its pages.
I tucked it away after
that other adventure. The one
that tarnished a friendship. The last
dated entry was more than seven
years ago. Seven, the fourth
prime number. A lucky prime,
the rumored happy number.
I place the book against my hand.
It hides the palmist's telltale
lines, mounds and crosses. The future
remains a mystery. I wish I knew
how to read the signs. I'm unsure
of my destination, the length of my journey.
There is a narrow brown silk ribbon,
to mark my place lest I lose my way.