I started stacking journals on the shelves.
I was never much of a writer, more of a critic –
I hated love stories and loathed their flawed
portrayals, loathed the funny sway
of southern slang and syntax errors,
with little broken lovesick smiles
wearing at the dog-eared pages
until they tore me to bits.
No, I started selling journals instead.
They were old, dating back
to when I was still trying my hand
at cursive, with the smudged-up lines
of a left-handed “genius” (what a laugh,
in retrospect) and confined in a lock-and-key
diary that my mom continuously
pried apart the way doctors pry open chests.
It’s funny how sadness sells.
Type up a few impulsive words, and rattle out
the words you bit into your demure, dry lips,
and you have the best-seller
that broke your heart a while ago.