after Giuseppe Arcimboldo
I spotted the Library of Congress just up ahead. It took over an hour to find
the kiosk booth after I overlooked it several times. The city bus had broken
down in front of it for one thing and I had forgotten that last week the Jefferson
building had finally been bulldozed so the new frozen yogurt shop could be
put up. I was surprised to find it at all as they’d downsized it again just as I
was crossing Independence Avenue with a slew of construction workers. When
I’d gotten across the street I saw a few people already getting yogurt. I whirled
around, wondering where the library had went off to. Then I found it walking
away from the crowded shop in a hurry. Hey, excuse me. The library turned
around giving me a start. I stood there dumb-tongued gawking at its bookish
appearance. I didn’t know what to say now that I was staring at the library
with its novel limbs, encyclopedia torso, and beard of paperback bindings.
I was handed a piece of loose-leaf paper with a note written from its quill
fingertips. I could tell you a story. How long would it take? I asked. It ripped
off a hardcover from its back and gave the bookto me. The faded picture on
the cover looked like a man on fire, but I couldn’t be sure. What does 451 mean?
I asked. I noticed the wind picking up and there were pieces of paper flying all
over the place. The library tore off his sticky note eye and wrote something.
Could you help me? I was getting very uncomfortable at this point;
people were starting to stare at us. I…I shouldn’t talk to strangers, I said.
He handed me heavy piece of paper with a few words on it. “Things fall apart;
the center cannot…” I let it slip from my fingers when I noticed the ink smearing
my palm. The library walked off. I watched it for a moment as chunks of paper,
bookmarks, and bindings were swept up in another wind gust, piece by piece.
There was a big line for the yogurt shop. I thought about what I wanted.
Cookie dough-or maybe Neapolitan.