Light Reading


My first step towards adulthood came
in middle school, a copy of The Hobbit
wrapped under the tree. Try to finish
by dinner, Dad said. I didn’t. How
could I have known his prescience
at the time? The joke this was no volume
to devour in one sitting harbored
a scab I had yet to peel. Up to then,
a day made work of R. L. Stine fast enough
to grow a bookshelf by summer. Barely a dent
in my new ride, I gave up after an hour,
returned to the controller and screen
that blended late December afternoons.
Not everything can be escaped;
Dad came up and waited for me to die
three times. I’d beat it later, he said,
had already left when I’d turned around
to find the book silent on my bed
like a Masterlock, waiting for my hand
to crack open again and again,
one page turned at a time.

Geoff Anderson teaches foreigners English and Americans Italian. He curated Columbus, OH's first poetry show dedicated to biracial writers, The Other Box, and is a Callaloo fellow. His work appears or is forthcoming in S/WORD, B O D Y, Lunch Ticket, and