Raymond Zeleski

Raymond Zeleski
of 1647 W. 21 St.
Los Angeles, California

of some time ago

please forgive me my trespasses
upon you and this book you once owned.

when I found your name
in this volume of tales
called “Candles’ Beams” by Father Francis J. Finn
(published 1926)
I promptly set about removing it.

Perhaps you don’t mind and understood
the absurdity of possession,
of ownership

as you didn’t sign your name indelibly
or glue in a gaudy and declarative bookplate
but instead inserted a small sticker
about the size of a fortune cookie fortune
with your name and address

I can’t help but wonder
as I slowly, carefully
peel it back with lighter fluid
is this the last remnant of you?
like the sophisticated graffiti of Pompeii:
so futile and brave in the face of oblivion?

I have removed it.
but at least I didn’t stamp them with my markings
or claim the text as vanquished territory.

I will simply put it out
-an old-tech commodity-
for sale in the air of the internet
and wait for someone to claim it.

but first a small prayer to you, Raymond:
you lived, you held this book.
and you are for this moment remembered.

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