They tell you not to judge a book by its– well, you know.
Which is why I have this hunch that something in the spine–that two-inch wide column– deserves discernment. Is it poetry if I say that it’s the one thing that all the pages have in common? A reminder of thread; machine-bound operating as the ghost of hand-stitched. Am I reading too much into this? It’s probably time for me to close where I open, my pages coming together in flutters and shushes. And yet here I am, still trying to convince someone to grab me by the spine, slide me across to the cashier, and take me home.
And do you know what the worst part is? Once I’m buried beneath the other books in the stack– the stack that will never get picked up or finished or remembered because they’re too wordy, too nonsense, too whatever– I feel the most like me. Spine facing outwards, I’m just that sliver of something someone somewhere, could read, could crack open, could dogear, could underline, could damage.