In Hathitrust

In Hathitrust

 

There’s a catalogue record

called A Dictionary of Angels

Including the Fallen Ones.

Access is provided by Emergency

Temporary Services. I know

because a yellow warning

bar alerts me to my one-hour time limit.

 

As I scroll, the pages load

questions about transcendence

and the logic of our existence, whether

we have a willing suspension of disbelief

in any salvation. The author claims

that “if enough of us believe

in angels, then angels exist.”

Once, there were as many angels as bits,

as yeses and no’s, zeroes and ones.

 

Now I imagine Zimmerman,

closed during the pandemic

no light filtering out of punched tin

fixtures in the Waters Room.

Built in another troubled time

like a mission to knowledge,

Meem’s soft adobe library

grew with us over the decades.

 

Under carved wooden beams

in the West Wing a quiet magic

always feels possible. I’ve heard

of ghosts of fallen lovers

in the nine-story book tower,

witnessed when campus empties for summer.

 

Perhaps Physical Plant still visits,

disinfecting handmade furniture

and listening to murmurs in the dark

stacks, the calls of unopened books,

as I sit in the blue light

of a strange diversion, another’s inquest

into the realm of the invisible,

sure of nothing.

 

 

Nota Bene: Hathi Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) is a temporary service providing UNM students, faculty and staff with online reading access to print materials from University Libraries collections that are currently unavailable while our libraries are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Amaris Feland Ketcham occupies her time with open space, white space, CMYK, flash nonfiction, long trails, f-stops, line breaks, and several Adobe programs running simultaneously. Her creative work has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the Kenyon ReviewRattle, and the Utne Reader and many more literary venues across the country. Her book of poems, A Poetic Inventory of the Sandia Mountains, was published in 2019. She is the faculty advisor for Scribendi, an award-winning arts and literature magazine produced by UNM Honors students.