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Riley Parker Soles

He is always asking questions, prying connections from our heads— what we read, to him, is paramount.

Read aloud, once more (he says it is for us) but I see his eyes close, his mouth

murmur, tasting with reverence what we chew all too quickly and swallow. Dissatisfied with our haste, he sets out again, this time, on his own. More weight on his tongue, gravel in his throat he holds the words in his mouth as if they were gold. And how he reels in it. Chin to his chest, bowing to the weight of past musings of Those far beyond him. The pages shadow his face from below, drawing him down to the darkling pools that fill him. And I watch his eyes flicker madly. I can see his heart beating in them. And taking in his uneven brow, one white flash cast upon his youth— I wonder: how it must feel to be completed only by years never again to be touched, curled up in inked pages— musty, soiled, dead.


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