Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reading the Readable

She reads books because they're generous in their tellings. The people inside them unfold like artichokes if only her fingers pull the thin edge back to the core of the thing. She reads people like books written in a language she might almost guess at by the looks of things--like Spanish where water, altitude, colors, are all words that she can make out if she tries--but the sentences hang like home-made mobiles with out of balance pieces and she can't figure out what to weigh more heavily or where to lighten it to make the thing hang even. Worse, she can't say she likes the steady symmetry much or values it over the unique collection of things that make up a mobile--that skeleton hand from some Halloween, that paper umbrella, that doll shoe, that plastic yellow rose that smells of dust, old plastic and childhood.

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