I sneak into the Pub after closing. The air still zings with the echoes of poets and their words. Energy pulsates. I touch words leftover, discarded in favor of others. I can’t let them lay there, rejected, so I scoop them up and slip them into my pocket, bulging now with promise.
It’s time to clean up, I know, but I’m in no hurry, so I slip into a booth in the back, light the candle and spread the words on the table, ignoring the scent of ale that still pervades the room. I realize I won’t be able to use them all tonight, but promise them I’ll keep them for another time.
Someone slips a key in the lock of the front door that I’d secured just minutes earlier, and flings it wide. Before I know it I hear a couple of voices, then three, then another until a low buzz builds into a cacophonous roar. They’re back, these poetry addicts, and it won’t be long before they notice me.
I hide the words in a couple of napkins—one with those I’m using and the others for next time.
I know they were here, a familiar voice says. Who could have taken them?
Before they notice me, I slip out the back. The rest of the work will wait.
Word addicts we are.
We cannot not consume them.
Drink of them deeply.
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