This Old Book

Walking with my friend through town, we find a cache of free, reeking-of-basement-mold books — a strange collection of Zen and psychoanalysis and car repair that might have come from my own  jammed shelves.

I pull out a skinny book with no title on its cover, only a black-and-white photograph of a long-haired girl in a white dress on a pile of rubble. An early edition of Brautigan’s The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster.

For the rest of our walk, I hold the book loosely in one hand, past the the old granite cutting sheds, houses well-tended and houses abandoned, through the wet woods and blossoming bloodroot and a hillside of trout lilies just beginning to open. I keep thinking about my second book I’m finishing now, how I’m lacing together the connections within that story: a stolen jar of farmers market cash, a dead dog, a torn crimson scarf.

That night, reading the book, I discover a bookmark jammed in the book’s pages, from the Bedford, NH, bookstore of my childhood.

In a Cafe

I watched a man in a cafe fold a slice of bread
as if he were folding a birth certificate or looking
at the photograph of a dead lover.

 

— Richard Brautigan

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About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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