He slipped on the first white glove,
then the second, adjusted the snugness,
flexed his fingers unnecessarily
before walking to the table,
pausing for a long, lingering look
at the yellowed, frail, delicate book.
He moved to open it, stopping
to absorb the moment - he, here, now
and ancient it lying on a velvet cloth, exposed
for a rare viewing outside the locked cabinet,
two centuries, an antiquity, beautiful, rare,
white gloves reminding to handle with care.
As he positioned one clothed finger to lift the cover,
of the significance of the moment, he had no doubt,
unaware for a short time.....seconds.....minutes,
that he had neither breathed in nor out.