When I am older, treat me like an ancient library
grown labyrinthine; even I may not know
what books lie lost in the corridors which dead
end at shelves. Wander down the tunnels;
they begin as veins and narrow to capillaries,
choked with stacks of musty books. The faded covers
are knotty and liver-spotted as the skin
on the backs of my hands. But within, they remain
pristine as ivory: the antique script rolls and joins
in remembered ways on the white sheets
like the limbs of lovers. My books sing melodies
you have never heard; they breathe out the scents
that marked them - cigarette smoke, cologne,
the fresh hay in a barn, the rain-soaked pine of a hill.
You will find no tracts and pamphlets, for I never lived
that way. At the nucleus of every one of my million
million cells lies a proud uncensored word.

Anna Evans

Anna Evans ( is currently president of the Burlington County Poets, who meet monthly at Burlington County Library in New Jersey. Her website is