What You Get For Using It Like A Library

Jason Kahler

The Staff Only bookstore door
swings too loudly for the literature section,

my comfortable vinyl chair, and the girl
in tattered jeans sports a piercing—

I don’t know its name
between her chin and bottom lip

where my beard grows a detached hair island
each strand a tear while shaving

so I imagine the piercing hurt
like a fireball or

like losing a favorite dog-eared copy
of Tom Sawyer—

but I reserve sympathy because she pounds
that door like a diner short order cook.