The Bookbinder’s Dilemma It turns out in fact that in the encyclopedia of all things, your picture is nestled just between the sun and moon the only reasonable place to put a creature such as you In an earlier draft, they thought to mark you as a bird for the way you fly, suspended as if just before a fall but it is wrong for ornithology, your command of light To turn a dim dank dust-ridden room from dark to blazing light as you do, the bookbinders fail to correctly categorize such things scared to fly and see; what becomes of the books then if they fall? But I am no bookbinder, and to chase the sun I become the moon strap on metal wings like a most fantastic apocalyptic kind of bird (But tell the encyclopedia printers I crashed, when I make it to you) (They would reduce your planetary grandness into a fraction of you) and so I’ll have asteroids for breakfast, use neighboring stars for light for the rest of my days, perched in your orbit, your galactic tin bird Much like that roadtrip, when the trunk broke and lost all our things we cried, but then again, you don’t need pajamas to live by the moon beers on the side of the highway & truckers watched our suitcases fall The whole country, we thought: Maine in July, reach California by fall who could want anything more than gas station Fritos, coffee and you I learned to chart the changes in your mood by the phases of the moon On dark days, my sole soul mission became to be your purveyor of light In this way we made adventures of mishaps and most ordinary things you passing me sunflower seeds, one by one, as one would feed a bird But so, as we really know, you are not a planet, as I am no bird and despite our respective scrapes with the stars, were we to fall ours is not the sort of story wrapped in lace and jewels and things No statue shall be carved of me, no new-crown deity made of you We would fade like a dream meets a new day’s early morning light (What happened, again? Something with a car trunk and the moon or was it a big tin cardinal, next to the encyclopedia entry for moon?) But the memory’s gone as your eyes blink, and outside chirps a bird Like my favorite kind of day, just when dusk rolls in over the light or when the last real whisper of summer trips and tumbles into fall I’d much rather be forgotten with the end of the empire than by you- ours is the legend I shall be engulfed in when the fire burns all things Were I a bookbinder, the moon would begin my encyclopedia of things why must it be alphabetical, “A” before bird when the sole reader is you Who are we any not to live by our own light, close as we may be to the fall
Tallie Gabriel is a poet and musician based in NYC. Their work can be seen in Groupie Mag issues 001 and 002, and The Rally issue 004, and in their self-published anthology, “heart garden.” You might also catch Gabriel behind a typewriter creating custom poems on the spot with Ars Poetica, or rocking the cello as a member of the pop-folk trio Camp Bedford Rescue Squad.