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 Review, Rattle, 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.