Visiting the poet’s shrine, I rubbed
a stick of graphite with my fingers
across a sheet of paper laid on stone—

To take away what: a letter? a vowel?
semblance of thin speech sent forward
across the void? Whatever it is

that transferred there is willful:
my doing, applied to a text that hardly
knows the compound altered by the years.


In response to Via Negativa: Thinned.

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