I chose not to water your Oleanders.
There was a reason, but it has dried in
my mind like those magenta petals.
You stopped buying me first editions,
when our friends claimed they made
me seem pretentious.
They didn't know about the ketchup stain
on Catcher in the Rye, or the highlighter
I took to This Side of Paradise.
They didn't know anything about being the oldest
book on a shelf- The fact that dust yearns for the
attentive breath of life to set it free.
Words are not prisoners in a flower pot.
They do not die with ease.
I remember now,
I didn't water your Oleanders
because they made you seem