1. The Green Room


‘Reading is a moral force.’ novelist

known for writing

sexts to publicists.

                                        body type

‘Reading creates empathy.’ children’s author

who makes

festival directors weep.


‘Reading brings us closer to other minds.’ – publisher

with a passion for bold voices

like his.


We keep within our margins.





2. Reading Pile


Slip the novel from the shelf, next to the

paperback and the paperback and the paperback and


Your tower of books has a logic: the oldest go first.

And you will leave this to

your children.

Pull another volume from


flip through the paragraphs, scan the


Friend, you have already paid.





3. What We Carry


The boy carries

a dictionary,

full of quieter words;

a flake of plaster

from a fist’s rough hole;

a Lego car built tightly

so it cannot smash; and

crumbly bread she baked when


was briefly over.

And I?

I carry the boy.