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Used, a poem by Jared Carter

May 2 is Independent Bookstore Day.

by Jared Carter

Abandoned, on rough wooden shelves –
          dusty, crowded –
Volumes bereft, beside themselves,
          almost shrouded.

Here the gaunt castaways on view,
          their faces blurred,
Their jackets torn, their binding glue
          half cracked, their words

A mumble now. The old Playboys
          are finger-worn;
The back room, with its special toys,
          still offers porn.

Bio: Jared Carter’s most recent book of poems is Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems (University of Nebraska Press). He lives in Indiana.