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Love In The Library

Love In The Library

     by Edmund Siejka

( East Of Seventh, poems by Edmund Siejka available on Amazon) 


He was a scrawny kid
In 1st grade his lunch money 
Often disappeared
By the 5th he was street wise.

Mother worked in an office
And Dad assembled radios in a factory on the West Side
On his own most of the day
He had a choice
Of going to the Boy’s Club
Or the library 
For some reason
The library became his favorite place
A place of books and knowledge
A place of hushed voices
Bespectacled librarians
Hard wooden chairs
Light maple rectangle wooden desks
Marred by carved initials
Grownups
Reading
Sleeping
Or glancing at their watches
That’s where he met Susan.

She was twelve years old
A year older
A little taller 
Red hair and freckled face
Aggressive
Attractive
And smart
She asked if he would walk her home
To a tall apartment house
On 12th Street 
Bricks the color of pale mustard
Leaving her by the lobby elevator
He listened to its muffled sound
Gliding effortlessly
To a place he was never invited.



In the privacy of his room
He dreamed of her
Incessantly
Clutching his pillow tightly
Making believe it was her 
Blood flowing
Roaring sounds in his ears
Dreaming that they were always together
Holding hands.

She, wearing a starched white shirt 
Carelessly unbuttoned
Looking deeply into his eyes
As he leaned forward to kiss  
Her with every passion he could muster
That Spring 
His days were inspired 
With dreams of her.

One rainy morning
Awakened by familiar kitchen sounds 
He wandered in 
Yawning
Arms folded
Fighting the morning chill
As a feeble day
Silhouetted the rims of the fire escapes
And the sea of blacktopped tenements.

In the misty light
Among the empty rooftops
She danced in the air
Her body turning
Twisting
Spiraling away from him
A fixed smile on her face 
Mocking, 
Mocking,
Mocking him. 



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