Hardcover

You were the mystery novel

I chose from the bookshelf

to get lost in for a spell.

Your cover promised intrigue,

and, like every good crime,

a puzzle to be solved;

clues scattered through, 

sinister suspects like

ghosts flitting in and out 

of your pages, pretending

to be the answer. You were 

the story but also the 

detective, the narrative’s

furtive hero, unraveling every 

twist and searching out 

the tortuous paths to truth;

both knowing all and 

needing to know more,

but still assuring me from 

where I sat, book in hand, 

earnestly reading on, that 

you had a satisfactory 

denouement. I chose to

plunge into the depths of

your noir, following the trails

left by false perpetrators

with something else to hide,

following your private eye

like the faithful sidekick

just one step, one car on 

your train of thought, behind. 

But one too many winding

paragraphs like lamplit 

passages through midnight

cityscapes had me lost

in labyrinths of loose ends

and lingering questions.

I could not follow where 

you led. The solution 

lies just beyond my reach,

somewhere near the end

of a closed book returned 

to its shelf, that may since

have been read and bought

by another, perhaps: one 

with the perfect proportions

of guile and grace to navigate 

your syntax with its lofty gates 

to discourage lesser eyes

like mine, redirecting their 

gaze to dwell among the 

fulsome accolades that

occupy your preface. I hope

the conclusion is worth the

time they will expend, that

your pages prove more than

a pleasant pastime for

passing a lazy afternoon

in a used book store.

PoetryDan LeeComment