The corner of the page was folded back, marking your place or saving some phrase, the book just gathering dust on a crowded shelf. Another note in the margins, another letter saved for contrast, love lost measuring some fracturing of intimacies, some distance only measurable in words. The faith we declaim always there in that breathless hand until it is broken. There is where the record always leaves us, at the beginning of the better portion of your labors.
These marks and measures still surprise me, falling out of novels and dictionaries, lipstick kisses in some notebook full of half poems and declarative sentences. Numbers and names that have long since lost their purpose, meaning the last thing to leave. The heart and its misgivings, the soul and its migrations. Ask the moon, ask the stars-- they are all the witness left me. Ink and paper fading, dissolving in their hidey-holes, cracking at each crease and fold.
There was a time when we were raised as readers, keepers of the bound and the aged. Words were weighed too heavily, honor worn ragged in public tattered by these castles of deceit and invective. Belief lived there nestled between the lines until the lines fell, one by one. Those letters and kisses kept past reason still carry the warmth of breath and intent of lip you left in them. The pages marked and places saved, like a candle left burning against the night. A light left to find a path, or warn travelers to stay away. Something to hold the place where the writing all ran out.