The Library at Alexandria

A Poem by Pedro Hoffmeister

We are the silence you never wanted
the sitting and the thinking, mouths shut
without a television or a podcast playing

your wrists like something improbable taped
to the ends of your arms, George Washington’s
dentures a collection of animal and human teeth.

I’m staring out the window at the rain
coming across slant, 30-degree-angled
Duraflame log burning in the fireplace

as a crow turns a dark arc through the wet
of the front yard, swimming the rain,
cutting the cedar in half yet it still stands

and I turn to see you no longer there.
This is the best answer I can give you:
I don’t know, and maybe never will.

Pedro Hoffmeister‘s poems have recently appeared in Open: Journal Of Arts & Letters and Writers Resist. His novels have earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal, and Best Books of 2016 from The American Library Association. Hoffmeister was the writer-in-residence of Joshua Tree National Park in the spring of 2015, writing poems in both English and Spanish, and he tells stories on the Boring Is A Swear Word podcast.

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