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Book and Screen

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It’s mostly someone
long dead who gets curious
all over again, who once told
a book, the book
picked clean to glow
on a website now, an address
with double slashes in it.

Suddenly I love
one detail: the way they harnessed
horses or hammered
copper, what seed — cardamom, rye — 
kept its small heart aloft
for a millennium.

Voices in that
dark ago when I open
to room light, lamp
or window on book — old friend — 
or the new computer screen.

It’s not technology, either way.
It’s something
in the brain first, an inkling. Not yet
yours to know. Behind that

little hallways in
sleep. The walking,
every door.

Source: Poetry (February 2015)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Poetry magazine

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Book and Screen

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