we are tangled in bed
when the laundrywoman comes in with her basket to collect
and so we dress, awkwardly (being found in a pile, you on my lap)
and i head out, my disappointment at being interrupted fading
into the immense stretching hallways
and the echoing floors and right-angle turns
in search of the lavatory

the first error i make is attempting to turn into a window
through which i can see my destination
and so i go around the courtyard, through the glass hall
through the four-exit dome with the table and white painted chairs
that the elders use in the evening for tea before they retire
(turning left) through the small kitchen and out into the grand hall
which is as wide as a room and as high as a theatre
green and brown carpet, red accents
great doors of unique character branching off into antique rooms

past a gathering of afternoon suits praying for the nonbelievers
(though i speak their language, they are praying for me, and i suspect they know it)
their table takes up nearly the entire hall
and i hold my coat in at the stomach as i inch past them quietly
, apologizing

a pair of messengers catches up to me, and i walk faster to avoid them
they follow me into a long abandoned study, treading heavy and calling out
throwing rubber balls in an attempt to get my attention
i lose my temper; can you not see these halls are ancient?
this delicate planetary model of wire and ceramic,
these floors painted in imitation of the panels of the vaulted ceiling
the windows of stained glass depicting battles none remember
are you so crass that you would tread on history
for the sake of the insignificant present?

they leave me alone then,
and finally my favorite room, hidden behind a great dark triangular door
wooden panels and a silver knob

a choir practices boisterously in the center of the smoothed stone slab floor
it is a library whose books are giants:
their covers are like ancient rocks, two feet long in the least,
inscribed in gold with the names of long-dead heroes in long-dead alphabets

a two year old girl listening to the practice
sitting on the small stone amphitheater asks me,
"is the Adiron my spirit book?"
as she kicks her feet high in the air

"the Adiron cannot be unread," i reply slowly,
searching a nearby case for my own book
amidst the crevices, dust, and spiders

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