(Painting by Maria Helena Vieira da Silva)
She was in a neglected corner of the university's library, her knees knocking against its most neglected shelf, pulling out books one at a time to see when they'd last been borrowed, thinking she’d become one of those people who believed, in their hearts, that books had souls--making every volume she held the more pitiable to her--when he strode down the aisle, took her by the arm and lifted her up, before kissing her hard.
She dropped her book. Dust blew off the pages like pollen.
And as he pushed her--gently--against the stacks, and as her fingers groped at the worn, thready bindings there, trying to find a grounding, she remembered that she also had a soul. And that lips were the crack where the light fell through.
So that she returned to him, harder, reaching her hand around his neck, and pulling him closer than that.
Letting the books be books, and only books.