When I came across the high-speed photograph
of a bullet that had just pierced a book-
the pages exploding with the velocity-
I forgot all about the marvels of photography
and began to wonder which book
the photographer had selected for the shot.
Many novels sprang to mind
including those of Raymond Chandler
where an extra bullet would hardly be noticed.
Non-fiction offered too many choices-
a history of Scottish lighthouses,
a biography of Joan of Arc and so forth.
Or it could be an anthology of medieval literature,
the bullet having just beheaded Sir Gawain
and scattered the band of assorted pilgrims.
But later, as I was drifting off to sleep,
I realized that the executed book
was a recent collection of poems written
by someone of whom I was not fond
and that the bullet must have passed throug
at twenty-eight-hundred feet per second,
through the poems about his sorry childhood
and the ones about the dreary state of the world,
and then through the author's photograph,
through the beard, the round glasses,
and that special poet's hat he loves to wear.