there’s a little part of my bank account i’ve marked off for buying my friends’ novels
i’ll get it signed, of course, my perfect cornered
shiny covered first edition copy, and your name will spill
across the front pages, like a brand. i think
it’ll go up on my bookshelf, in some place of honor, and
i’ll love it forever of course but then
before i’ve even broken its spine i’ll buy your book
again, but this time in as a mass-market paperback, the kind
with the thin pages that almost tear under your fingertips and the
short, squat shape. that’s the one i’ll bring with me when I go to college,
you know, and it’ll end up thrown on my covers and
skated under my bed — the razor edges will get bent, pristine cover
wavy from unexpected rainstorms and misjudged page turns.
i won’t dog-ear the pages, but trust me when i say that there will be
dents in the pages from when I slide my finger in to mark my place.
and when your novel gets published -- when it’s there
in my hands? i think something is going to settle right
in my chest. did you know your world feels like coming home?
i want to meet your characters. i’m convinced i already have.
listened to a song you said you liked the other day and i
could almost see you, hunched over in the middle of the night
typing on your google documents, humming along to the lyrics. i
could almost your characters lip-syncing along to the lyrics.
i was crying a little, but i was at work so i pretended it was just
an aftereffect of my sneezing the minute before.
but you know what, my boss is an author, and i think she understands
just a little bit. shelved one of her books on the library shelf
and i laughed, but then i thought that maybe somebody
felt the same way about her when she got published. like maybe
that book could make you feel warm inside, like maybe
the sun was filling up your whole body with gold.
and when your novel gets published, i want to
document that feeling forever and trap it in the pages of
the novel you made with your own two hands.