She is the quiet one of the group, the one
for whom it is a calling instead of a job. It is
not the placement of books so much that calls her,
not even the books themselves, but the
secret alphabets of their destinations.
She so loves, too, the muted whispers,
sensual in their very substance, so that
she must lean close to hear you, momentarily
defy that space between personal and intimate,
momentarily forget you are a stranger.
She kneels to reach the lower shelves,
a seductive act of contrition. You could kneel
beside her; your hands might glance like
eyes that meet, stuck on the same page,
inevitably filled with words you don't know.
—Martin A. Bartels