And each time
I end up telling myself
not this time
not again
Mum’s going to yell
Dad’s going to be mad

I end up stopping myself
Pull my outstretched arm back
I won’t fall for you this time
not again
and yet
when you look at me
from behind the bookshelves
a mere glance is enough
for me to lose control
I’m beyond myself
yet again

I stumble back
and pick you up
stare at you long
as restraints wane
I embrace you tight
with all my might
once again
I’m happy as a child

Carefree and broke
I trot to the counter
hold you high with pride
pay the price
and bring you home
my next best book
the hundredth on my pile


Asha Seth