By Melissa Stein

I dream a sonnet made of buttons. Star-
shaped; faceted jet; fabric bristled pink;
one boasts a lurid trompe l’oeil cardinal
posed stiff against its milky plastic sky.

Paired off, their colors rise and fall, like breath—
a verse no doubt penned by the selfsame clerk
who, disgruntled (refused promotion, perk,
or punch-card-less lunch hours), now arrogates,
upends, and reconstructs the library
by spine color. The emeralds here; rubies
just there; and the voluminous onyx
of all that flaccid pulp. Then, dazed with pride,
with anarchy’s frank gorgeousness, sinks
down among the transformed stacks, and weeps.

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