The Maier Museum of Art
at Randolph College

“To Understand” by Luigi Coppola

after Book Auction by Mabel Dwight

Book Auction by Mabel DwightThe bound book lay open on the desk
The lamp lit up the pages
Each word a smear to your eyes
Each column a canine tooth

You scan the thin verses
Searching for that silver word
That one perfect sphere idea
You think you might have read
Years ago as a child

And you spot one
Not the right one, but close
A word that, if only you still understood
Could take you back to that other
Desk, that better lamp, that first book
Long ago sold or thrown away or burnt


First published in The Railto 74, 2012

Luigi Coppola ( teaches and writes in London, England. Shortlisted for the Bridport Prize twice, he appeared in the Worple Press anthology ‘The Tree Lineand publications include Acumen, The Frogmore Papers, The High Window, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Iota, Magma, Orbis, Neon, Rattle, The Rialto, THE SHOp and Snakeskin.