step into my office and
see how our stories live,
not interconnected webs
but unique entities,
rows of mismatched novels
lining mahogany shelves.
circumstance alters which shelf we sit upon,
whose covers rest against our skin,
how intimately we let them touch us.
you can build a book together,
you will hold chapters of other names,
you will contain multitudes,
but other stories do not become yours
you do not become theirs.
go somewhere new and suddenly
your shelf shifts,
tipping you into a pile of strangers
all touching, piled around,
but not becoming, not intertwining.
and then your cover slips, for just a moment,
and you allow them to read some pages
not those ones
just a few here and there,
let them see the parts you like best,
close it again before they see too much.
sometimes you rest against
a story, a shelf, a life
that changes the rest of yours.
but they do not have the power
they do not have you
you have not become one another.
touch them, witness their lives,
let them read yours
until you can’t make eye contact anymore
that you are a story, a life
a complete entity.
and know beyond doubt that