Bookish Thing by Kira Jane Buxton

Bookish Thing

She doesn’t want there to be an end.

She is a bookish thing with a straight spine and a dusty jacket. Eyelashes dance on cheeks, a spidery rhythm to her questing eyes. Inky fingers trace each crisp page as though they were baby birds, the sitka spruce still offering shelter in its afterlife. It is a mushroomy magic, the roots of story curl and conquer like snaking vines.

Her bookish body ferries blood, busying itself with the liquid limitations of living. But her mind, oh how it travels on the wings of words — twisting back clock hands, across crystal mountains, the sprawling maw of space, golden train carriage, bedsheet, sand dune, meadow and trench. She is phantom, witch, fugitive, warrior, caterpillar, captain, spider and spy. Planet colossal and teacup tiny, winged, watery, the thing we want to believe in. She has forgotten her skin and the particular feeling of her feet, how she must conjure air to her lungs. Time is a feathery fiction.

She doesn’t want there to be an end.

But the book has rewritten her heart, built castles on gray matter. Each word imprints — calcium signature — on bone.

She drops the book and feels her feet.

Now the stories travel with her, stitched into every cell.

There is no greater intimacy.

There will never be an end.


Bookish Thing


Kira Jane Buxton’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus and more. Her debut novel, HOLLOW KINGDOM, will be published in 2019 by Grand Central Publishing. More can be found at


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