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Words on a Paper Bag

I cannot transcribe
the words scripted
upon my fingertips–
symbols of fear
that burn like lit matches
in a dark cave.

Write it down,
you say,
and this is all I have to scribble on–
wishing I could write
the words on the inside
where they could live
safely unseen,

where they would not align
themselves like weapons
waiting to be deployed.

This is what happens
when time has no meaning;
when wisdoms from old compasses
remain untranslated.


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