it was a refuge of sorts

so removed from the daily high school confusion

the high desert, prickly pear, rattlesnakes

and the town’s cycle of sameness

it had once been a furniture store

the old man had transformed it into a vast used book store

creaky wood floors, dull and marred

but warm and inviting to me

a gas heat stove sat in a circle of used easy chairs

a ragged but comfortable crew

shelves lined the walls and marched in rows to the back

bring two, take home one

or buy cheap

somehow the old man stayed in business

i was sitting next to the heat stove

pondering the pile of books in my lap

the old man stopped, holding a stack of magazines

“i got a new one you might like,” he said

he led me to the shelf that held a thin white book

almost lost among its neighbors

Howl it read

i took it down and a door opened

and i walked through

and life changed forever

11/23/18 LV
Copyright Michael Douglas Scott