IMG_4348/Shelly Paul
Image by Shelly Paul

I was reading to a room full of people when someone interrupted with a question about my first short story. I said something about being a novice writer and how I have grown ever since. When I resumed reading, the words fell out; the printed words rolled and fell out of the book. Some scattered on the podium, some on the floor, some fell on my clothing. I tried to resume the reading, but there were no more words left. I turned the pages back and forth in panic. The book had emptied out and the empty pages mocked me, ‘You built a career on stolen words, now the words got stolen from you.’

You stepped into eternity
Left me in time’s purgatory
I tore up my past –
It was tangled with memories of you
Future petrifies me because of the void you left within
A thousand abysmal days have trudged by,
Tell me my son,
What should I do with my time?