You don't believe it will ever disappear
(intransitive verb: pass from view or existence),
like smoke from a burned book. No, the best
you do with this reference is leave it in a box
behind the boiler, where you forget it
until a night spent in dipsomania
(noun: uncontrollable craving for alcohol)
when you soddenly haul it out
to make its own sense. Most often
you let it pull on your shoulders, unabridged
in a backpack. Since you don't understand
sunk cost - the path you imposed
after purchase was indeed declivous
(adjective: sloping downward) -
you turn back to it for every meaning.
When you're in the basement sorting
through the musty stacks, remembering
the stories from college about people leaving
love letters and suicide notes and shit
in books at the library, you find your denial
(noun: refusal to admit reality)
pressed in pages like a leaf, then look up
into the light wisping through the window
wells and see two dark-eyed juncos
(plural noun: small North American finches)
twittering to each other in language
incomprehensible to you, a reminder
that some pairs remain, some brood
together rather than alone and don't dissolve
(transitive or intransitive verb: separate into parts,
terminate, break up, undo, annul, or disappear).

Someday, when eyestrain overtakes you
or when you've taken every word
to heart, you may finally come back
upstairs and emerge blinking to see
the sun, but while you're still below,
be thankful for the reading material.
Without it, this self-indulgent duration
would have no definition.

Steven D. Schroeder

Steven D. Schroeder stole his middle initial from a Dingo Dog.