After so many months of pacing,
so many nights spent waking and scrawling
words into a bedside notepad,
with ceiling tiles for an editor,
the book was finally finished.

Conversations he had with himself
had been forced into the mouths
of his characters, their reactions
bred from the neighbors and friends
who had branded their lives into memory.

Those pageants and poems
of life never paraded themselves into
the minds of the public. They fell
from the shelves into the sale bins
like snow from a shaken paperweight

The words so laboriously ordered
marched back to the shelter of
the warehouse, where the pages
caressed the dust of failure
and a publisher’s accountant

like an Inquisitor of hope,
sentenced them to be burned
and blasted into pulp.

The author rode to the furnace,
with the eyes of a child
taking his best friend to the vet
for the last injection

He took solace in the fact that
his words would pass through
this crucible, and be transformed
into something more practical than
words, perhaps a table, or a bookshelf
to make room for that collection
of thoughts he might finally sell.