The Book of Leah

wants a Les Paul in sunburst mahogany for its cover,
           secured with string, nickel-wound. The Book of Leah

is sheafed with mosaics, pencilled on napkins like clovers
           pressed smooth between the pages’ cream,

rainbowed in Prismacolor. The Book doesn’t say what you
           know, that when Leah climbs out

of the book’s spine, Leah speaks in the third person.
           But Leah only laughs when Leah loses herself—

& when she’s gone for weeks, tears. The Book of Leah
           is missing its pages, documenting the losses

Leah suffered. If she knew where Leah hid the pages
           she would never tell you. Leah would

never trust a book or her mother with secrets. Leah’s eyes—
           mother-of-pearl, spalted maple. A cuttlefish,

or a shark, won’t be found that don’t want finding. Leah’s hair—
           sandalwood bone. Strands mark each chapter.

To find Leah you must know braille & if you read braille
           you must analyze dreams & if you read dreams

you need a stethoscope to hear Leah’s heart murmur.
           The book’s back cover: a devil’s mask

with two holes Leah dons before Leah climbs back
           inside herself. No one knows it’s Leah when they hear

the first & last words of The Book of Leah sifted through
           skin’s linen: Here sways one whose hips smoke,

whose sari changes color. Here flutters & dances one whom
           the wind blows through. Here. Find Leah here.

Facebook: Jonathan Travelstead
For more on the author check out his first collection “How We Bury Our Dead”

Cover Photo, “Four Eyes” (2015), courtesy of Aleks Avramova

Instagram: @aleksavart