Reading Late


This morning, I was in a hurry. A mundane hurry. Rushing to get home from walking the dog so I could take over childcare. Then I passed the poetry house.

I wasn’t going to stop, I had no time for poetry, but the title caught my eye. Reading Late.

The words drew me back. I’m a reader, to my bones. I love to read late. I do it way too often! I backtracked my confused dog about ten paces, and stopped to read.

The poem is by poet I wasn’t previously familiar with, Jesse Graves, from a book called Basin Ghosts. (What a great title!)

I quickly realized that Reading Late wasn’t really about reading. And then I fell in love. I write books about, and blog about, real life romance. To me, this poem epitomizes it. Plus, it’s truly gorgeous.

How amazing to discover a new favorite author on a hurried morning dog walk!

Reading Late, by Jesse Graves.

We walked between the ponds at World’s Fair Park
the first night we knew something definite had hold of us,

conversations reaching not much beyond favorite bands,
least favorite jobs. We had not held hands.

Nothing existed of our daughter, not yet a nameless dream,
or the years we chased snakes out of the baseboards

in the house by Sapsucker Woods, driving home late
to find deer on their hind legs foraging our bird feeders.

This book we write together keeps me turning pages
deep into the night, re-reading the chapters on eloping

to Charlottesville, eating boiled crawfish at Mardi Gras.
Tension rises through pages about devotion and doubt,

as the main characters grow steadily beyond our grasp,
suspended from the hidden strings of this love story

that opens in such a beautiful setting, develops with so much
indirection and suspense, I can’t stand to put it down.

From Basin Ghosts. © Texas Review Press, 2014.

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