slender leaf among leaves,
I divide the seen from the unseen
like some haphazard stand-in for the present.
Though I may bear an epigraph,
my true purpose is to stand watch over silence
like a caesura, or a rest in a score.
I’m a solitary scarecrow buried up to its neck
in a field of white, warding off
the crows of forgetfulness,
which are also (of course) white
as a blank page.
I mark where the mind left off,
where the lips ceased their murmur,
where the eyes fell shut.
My exact form is incidental, so long
as I am flat as the tongue of an angel,
for whom all flavors are one, & sturdy
as the hope of continuance.
We meet often, you and I,
but only under the covers.
You use me & set me aside.
In a previous life, I may have been
a paperclip, a shopping list, a postcard,
the receipt from a cash register —
some briefly useful crutch.