Why didn’t I ever bake those Syrian cookies?
I found the recipe – with a strong right hand slant
Written in thick pencil on what might have once been a napkin –
between the pages of a 1967 edition
Of the red-checkered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook
My mom found for me at the Hartville Flea Market
Because the new edition is too fancy to include easy
Recipes like Lazy Day Lasagna.
“When will you start reading something worthwhile?”
Another feminine hand placed this
Scrap of paper, criticism, scrutiny
Meaning well (if unimaginative)
Between the covers of Aldous Huxley’s
Brave New World.
Why did the beloved sell her book of poetry on Amazon.com?
Addressed to “my love” on slips of paper
Attached with rusting curlicue paperclips
Advising her to read the poems in a particular (non-linear)
Order. First this, then the one on page 34.
Another slip saying “I thought of you when I read this piece. I love you.”
I imagine this love is unrequited. Perhaps poetry is simply not her thing
Maybe she has a premium on bookshelf space, and couldn’t afford another
Though perhaps, instead, these messages were intended just for me?
Perhaps I am the love who is meant to read those notes
left in used books
Like treasure maps to their former lives