There is nothing so delicious as opening a book
For the first time:
The smell of the forest its birthmother
Tickling in your nose,
The rich-black of the ink its father
Making your eyes water.

More delicious yet is opening a book
That has nestled
On your shelf for too-long a time
Awaiting your return,
Yearning for you
After an undue absence:
The dust that floats up into your nose
The browning pages like
Bread just starting to toast:
The spine supple and soft
Under your tender touch.

Most delicious of all to find on a page
Your underline, highlight,
Note scribbled in the margin
Too many years ago,
A thousand remarks ago,
A million ideas past;
Yet here still waiting
Languid and sensual
The mark of you and this book

Sandra S. Newton

Sandra Salinas Newton is a Professor Emeritus of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College. Her books, Enjoying the Arts: Poetry (1977) and Enjoying the Arts: Film (1978), were published by Richards Rosen Press, her short story, “The Balikbayan,” can be found in Philippine American Short Stories (Giraffe Books, 1997), as well as two poems by the online journal OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters. She earned her B.A. from The City College of New York, her M.A. from Hunter College, and her Ph.D. from Fordham University. Dr. Newton has attended a number of writing conferences and workshops, most recently with the Writers’ League of Texas. She has also been an art reviewer and freelance photographer, and in her free time she plays blues piano.