The Way Boys Read
by Alexander No Middle Name Stromm
There's nothing pretty about it:
They'll claim a book,
brand nicknames to all three sides
as if the book might lose itself in tall grass
or wander, dumb as a cow.
The bookmark? A slice
to the top of the page, unthinking
as a kick to a rock on a dirt road.
And some so quick to break the spine,
the way they've broken girls
with too few words, or with false ones.
If the book is large,
it can be laid flat on a desk
so a boy wouldn't even have to touch it,
just lift a finger to flip a page,
halfheartedly, like signaling a truck to dump its load.
-Jenny Hubbard, in Paper Covers Rock