reading alone helps

Somewhere in Russia there must be a lady
who still reads.
She is breathing (as we all have to breathe)
or listens breathless to her heartbeat.

She just cannot believe that she really is.
- I am, thank heaven, a figure in a book,
don’t let me think that I really exist. -

She ventilates and her heart
sometimes refuses.

Reading alone helps.
When she ’s reading, she recovers.
Then it is as though she really exists

~ Henk van Loenen, from ” The Longing to get lost”, 2004

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