There is a section titled New Age
in a Books-A-Million
in a mall
in Sterling, Virginia
with everything from wicca cookbooks
to Marx’s Communist Manifesto.

It is a small wonderland
located in a corner
in the back of the store
between the Kids and Special Needs sections.

The New Age
is a single bookshelf
like an open mouth.
All of its mismatching pieces
crammed together
like crooked teeth.

Christopher Hitchens The Portable Atheist
The Dreamer’s Dictionary
a book by the Dalai Lama
Sun Tzu’s Art of War
tarot cards, and
a book on Chinese Astrology

The unruly rebels that somehow fit nowhere
in this vanilla bookstore except here,
like punishment, sitting in the corner.
The words, New Age
hung over their exposed spines
like a dunce cap.

But I tell you, I see genius.
This suburban bookstore is like uranium
for the nuclear family. Indoctrination
disguised as education. Books
are supposed to make you smarter.
But let us not forget that books
are old media.

In Books-A-Million,
there is a whole six book cases
filed front to back
with bibles and Christian Fiction.
Five shelves in the Religion section
are catholic. On the sixth shelf,
the one closest to the floor,
is a peeling signcard that says, Islam.
It is a vacant mantel but for four books,
two of which have nothing to do with Islam.

The Mormon People
Th Essential Judaism
Islam and the Jews: The Unfinished Battle

and, I kid you not

The Islamic Anti-Christ

If ever there is a second crusade,
it will not begin in the suburbs of Virginia.
But there is a conquering here
in the arrangement of the books.

Across the aisle, armor-clad warriors
pose with their guns and their women,
exaggerated muscles gleaming
from their glossy science-fiction covers.

The New Age is a corner in the bookstore
that smiles like San Francisco
The New Age is black magic
and communism.
The New Age is a rapidly industrialized ghost
that dreams of a godless sky.

This is how we war in Sterling, Virginia.
How we run in the The New Age.

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