Why We Fuck Up

Seeking poetry

I walked to town seeking poetry.

My first stop was a used book shop.

This was last night.

I browsed the cart of books outside the shop entrance, a selection of whatever titles the owners guessed might steal the eyes of passersby. I found a blank blue cover in the pile. To my surprise, it was a book of poems.

I flipped through the pages and chose a short entry. The words crawled to me, sat down pat like an old dog ready to sleep.

I went inside to buy the book. The woman who rang me up said, “I just put that book out on the cart a few minutes ago!”

“Wow,” I said, “Looking forward to reading it!”

Halfway along my walk home, I realized I missed the whole point, the whole point of the evening.

When I didn’t ask her, “Why this book?”