The Life of the Book

I heard of it in the early ’90s.

We were told that our names needed to be in it to gain entrance.

So we worked hard for it, even though we didn’t know how to check for our names.

But we chose to believe that our names were written in it.

What we weren’t sure of was if our names could be deleted.

But we guessed they could.

So we imagined a vigilant male.

A pencil in his right hand,

And an eraser in his left.

The book before him.

His job was to write and erase till the end of the world.

Or maybe he had assistants.

But as time passed, technology evolved, it was difficult to imagine such a book,

Especially because they used a screen on the other side, or so we were made to believe.

So the book might be digital, we thought. Perhaps the names were typed, not handwritten.

For a place that has gold, a computer should be affordable.

How didn’t we think the book could be figurative?

How didn’t we ask how they managed namesakes?

What about name changes?

Do they record nicknames?

Is there a book at all?

Is my name in it?

Or has it been deleted?

Was it ever in it?

What’s the life of the book?

— This age-long book.

The Life of the book,

That book,

The book of life.

Is my name in it?

Is my name in the book of life?

If not, is there a book of death?

I desire the book, the life, and the life after.

What are your thoughts on the life of the book of life?