I'm on the long slow walk, through the snow and past the churches, to her place.
A shadow of me lurks slowly forward, growing and fading, until he is replaced by another, and then another, by a series of towering lamps.
And the figure catches me off guard, standing silently. I turn. A box, with a head and square body and looming human presence cast on the evening snow. Decorated with flowers, it reads TAKE BOOK RETURN.
So I tug on the frozen handle and peek inside. Unheard of children's stories, international espionage plots, getting rich in the 2010s. Nothing particularly wantable which is why I suppose they ended up here. A half-life of literature, bouncing lower and lower until it's nothing but dribbling cookbooks with all the good stuff ripped out.
There's a copy of over-dog-eared, over-underlined Henry James and I put it in my parka. Better to leave it empty and start from scratch. Or that's what I tell myself, as I have nothing to give, and check my watch, and keep walking.