Sly, brittle slice blinks incessantly;
would-be despot descendant of Kutubiyyin,
its faux leather sheath sticky in the palms.
Spineless, synthetic, its flickering backlit,
tick-inducing, fake flaxen pages,
a shallow, kindled substitute
for lutescent vellum, letterpressed
to breast in the smooth creamy wash
of an elegant anglepoise lamp.
Acid leaks, yet beautifully bound, it
sits serene on the solid beech shelf,
just out of reach; protected.