One by one, they flew off the shelves into her hands. The hardcovers, the heavyweights, the ones with folded pages, the ones with half-eaten bookmarks. Dust and cuts from pages untouched - her only company, her only fear. She looked at the seam on her backpack and decided, “Only one or two more.”
As a hoarder, her dreams were made of stacks of books, cover to cover, crease to crease, like neatly folded sarees. The stack, like a new (and old) rope ladder of words - slippery and painful as she climbed up.
Every morning, a new routine, a fresh haul. And every evening, exhaustion, withdrawal, and a stack on unread, untouched books.
At least let us wither together
Fall to the ground in unison
In one heap of dust
And just a handful of memories.
Today, among a group of people, I stared at the walls merge with the darkness till nothing remained but empty, haunting space.
But after a few minutes, the lanterns were released in the sky and they conquered the chimneys and floated in the sky, telling me that light exists around us; it exists in our strength; it exists in the strength of others.
It only needs to be released.