Who will receive this next
ink ribbon folded back on itself, tucking
the pulp heart of the matter
into its own layered belly like an origami crane?
As if for peace
offerings and platonic love, I write to him
(or is it you?) yet contemporaries of Plato knew
that Mercury conceived the alphabet
from the sight of those wings V-cutting the sky
and words are nothing more than traces of hollow
bone and feathered vein, the page
a leaf stirred to flight.
Pen nib, beak, and paper’s razor edge.
Perhaps it takes on a power of its own, this letting
into letters a promise I fancy
a vial drawn from Delphi and ferried
in talon to brush his trembling lips
When he (or you) unfurl the knot
of scratchings here, neither gods
nor philosophers tumble out,
no. Not even a waterbird
for all this trouble. Just abracadabra and alaka-zam,
a spatter of angles and curlicues casting
untested home-cooked spells.
This tattered plea calls not on him
to fold back the edges, to smooth open
the wrinkled sheet. I beg
your mercy. Use your hands. Clear a place. Let divination
across the waiting acre