I pinch one edge and turn it
for the hundredth time.
It lingers like dust on my fingers:
the skyward roller coaster rush
of the plot, building butterflies,
then coiling my gut into tangles.
This tale’s peak was chapters ago
but the calm descent—
perhaps the next page.
I bask in the blinding gleam
of clashing muddles.
This apex has become linear;
the rusting wheels only dawdle
and the sprightly wings have wilted,
now crumbling in its antiquity.
This tale’s life flatlined long ago
but I breathe for it—
the resolve somewhere.
Until then, the dust will stay unwashed
as I pinch the edges and turn it
in the hopes that after the last page,
it would find its rest on the top shelves,
deemed classic. F FATIMA B. BADURIA