Purgatory

The otherwise decent folk, who
in life had not returned the books
they borrowed, now repay with labor
in windowless factory sweatshops
deep beneath the surface of some
nameless, skyless netherworld
hand-setting the type of each title
producing singular leather-bound volumes
with gilt decorations, and marbleized
end papers, then, donning brown uniforms
drive around mapless streets in rusty
little trucks with noisy mufflers
and expired tags, to deliver them
to their rightful owners, who are
here themselves, laboring fruitlessly
at other tasks, for other reasons.

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