Wind strums the pages of my book. The beetle
coated with baked apples
struggles to hold on to the loops of the os,
the hooks of the gs.
Grabs at
nothing but the unforgiving
slip of a page. A dandelion
that stained page fifty-three for two and a half
decades drifts off the tumbling

pages. Cartwheels into the
faded green of grass. The front cover,
worn into ashes, threads over seams
sliced away. Knife into

butter. The book unravels like a bundle of
yarn. Pages torn, words fumbled, chapters dancing around
the film of dust that lacquers the corners
of the scraped wooden porch.

When I return from the
kitchen, jam tart crumbling in the sugared palm of my hand,
I walk to the book. No. To the pages. Not even. To the
three words that just stare back, that

happen to mean

". I love you."

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