Stuff Your Eyes with Wonder

so every other week I go to this second-hand bookstore and I

head to sci-fi/fantasy/horror because I know where the letters line up

and where you are, or where you should be, at eye height between

the a’s and c’s.

 

yesterday I went to the counter to ask a woman if you were hiding

somewhere else amongst the stacks, maybe you had snuck somewhere

beneath the bookshelf where they stock their extra paperbacks

just out of reach.

 

I remember rummaging my father’s bookshelf looking for you

and all I found was your preface in a 1989 anthology titled Foundation’s Friends

and you said Isaac was in the mountain-moving business, but he did not move

but eat them.

 

and when a friend handed you to me in a library and you told me

I would pay by the half-hour for my words and I would be sleepless

but if someone didn’t see value in my hunger I should pick up my dinosaurs

and leave the room.

 

and you taught me that new tennis shoes make a summer endless,  that

rain can kill if you let it, that stars are addictive when you have a rocket

full of fuel and a home to crash into, with dandelion wine to drink

in the basement.

 

the woman said she would call me when someone else gives you up, that

they don’t print many of you anymore and so maybe you are on Mars with Poe

waiting for everyone to forget you, so I want to tell you that I’m pacing

back and forth in the dust.

 

I remember, I remember, I remember something else. What is it?

Yes, yes, part of Ecclesiastes. Part of Ecclesiastes and Revelation. Part of

that book, part of it, quick now, quick before it gets away,

before the wind dies.

 

This poem is in response to my favourite short story, The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury by Neil Gaiman, and to my favourite author.

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