I keep my endings
scattered in ink-stained places,
in hardcover houses and paper walls—
wherever my hands and heart can reach.
With the smudge of every conclusion,
I can stand a little taller
and reach a little further
into the little black gardens
that string the walls of my white paper houses.

Many times it has been said
that everything must come to an end.
The earth knows this and reminds us of it;
but my paper-cut fingers and heart
understand this to a greater degree.
Nothing in this world lasts forever,
and this is perhaps the most bittersweet truth of all.

You must endure the journey of bitter
to stumble upon the sweet,
and as a result,
the endings can often be found in cobwebbed corners
where few like to linger.
You may even see the creased corners of abandonment
where so many have given up.

But if you touch the soft, dusty jacket
and smell the sweet scent,
it will pull you in
to a realm more alluring than the one that surrounds you—
conflicts you are not compelled to share in,
and as much or as little compassion as you decide to invest.
But once you are ten steps in,
fifty steps in,
two hundred steps in,
you are swept up by the rising current;
your emotion is no longer your own,
and its inky scars are marks that you share.

They must somehow wish to protect us from reality,
and this is fully accomplished—
while also plunging us into its depths
by demonstrating a pattern of the world:
Everything must come to an end,
and one must learn to accept
that in breaking the binding of your heart,
they will also heal you.
In the abrupt ending
that is so often dripping with nostalgia,
the satisfying close imprinted on your soul
will have left you whole.
The paper will cut,
but also heal,
and under my hardcover shield,
I can’t help feeling protected.

If the ending has been crafted well,
I don’t believe that the closed door
deserts you in a darkened room of ignorant shadows,
or leaves you with a lock and neglects the key.
You are no longer under its protection,
but you will return to the world with a greater understanding
of the climaxes and resolutions,
the plot twists and cliffhangers
of reality.

These endings are best known
among those who are held under their blissful spells
at all hours of the night;
who will willingly sacrifice much to experience it
again, again, and again;
who lie awake reliving
ending after ending.

It is, after all, quite marvelous
the ways a person can change
through the thoughts that remain
from what is understood,
felt,
and read
in the last pages of a book.