I have your books

I’m glad I stole your books.

We shared a moment of intimacy, a burst
of unintended delight over
ancient Rome, and you said,
I’ll lend you my books.

I took them and they slept
beside my bed, rarely opened but
always comforting
wrapped in the best of intentions
dusted over with reality and
the passing of time.

I took them and I left and I
never gave them back and
I was sorry, until
a year after I gave up feeling bad you ring
out of the blue, and we two,
all but strangers,
we chat for 20 minutes, you with
your grumbly old-man voice and I
all smiles and you say
I’ll give you the rest, if you
come at Christmas,

and we
are firm friends only because
I stole your books.

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