Bookcase By Jose A. Alcantara

Issue 10

When you are engulfed in flames
you will meet a tall dark stranger
on the border of snow and melt.

But these are ​my rivers, the words
under the words, at mesa’s edge,
the signature of all things.

It’s a wonderful world – becoming,
unbecoming, floating and falling.
It’s a wonderful life.

Yet, in the palm of your hand,
this is someone else’s garden, a course
in miracles, Einstein’s dreams.

We live in water, in white noise,
in a house of leaves, amid echoes
of tattered tongues.

We are chasing the rose into thin air.
This is the way it is, bird by bird,
a tale for the time being.

We are crossing to safety
in the elegant universe.
Thank you for being late.

Source & Method:​ I sampled the titles from the roughly 200 books and movies on the shelves.

Jose A. Alcantara works in a bookstore in Aspen, Colorado. His poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Spillway, The American Journal of Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Midwest Quarterly, Spoon River Poetry Review, Little Patuxent Review, San Pedro River Review, and 99 Poems for the 99%. Jose is a former Fishtrap Fellow and was the winner of the 2017 Patricia Bibby Memorial Scholarship from Tebot Bach.