I invite you to imagine a girl.
She is quiet, her house obscenely loud.
She needs calm – her house is anything but.
You’re looking for her? Check the library.
Because that’s where she is –
That quiet, wondrous place of escape
Where silence abounds and babbling parents
Rarely interrupt her studies,
Where her books are King, and she
Is their Queen. She rules from a couch,
Picking and choosing when to work
And when to read.
She sits on her throne, wondering how
Someplace so quiet could be so loud.
Her imagination, it screams and cries
When, surrounded by silence, she watches
Her young spy wither and die –
Or one of her one true loves enters the room – the fictional room,
And she squirms in her seat, quietly giggling and goofily smiling.
It's simple: she forgets who’s real and who’s not.
Oh, yes. She loves to forget,
And books are the perfect distraction, she thinks.
For from the very first sentence of any book at all,
She is wholly consumed.
Her own mind is drowned out by the shouts of her book –
She cannot hear them, so she forgets to fear
Those uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts of hers.
Oh, yes, she loves to forget.
But if you asked her why she loves
That old building with every piece of her fragile heart,
She would look at you with confusion in her eyes, unsure of what to say –
But then she’d think, think about thieves and assassins and spies,
About love and death and renewal,
And simply say, “I love books,”
Silently wishing those three words could convey
The depth of gratitude she feels for some words on a page.
You see, she is often told
That who she is is wrong:
She should be wearing makeup.
She shouldn’t be on the team.
And she almost always says the wrong thing –
But at the library, she doesn’t have to speak.
She can curl up with her stack of books,
Turn her phone off, and read.
So, of course, you can find me at the library.
It’s the only place that I am never once judged
For being me.