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Even to touch
these delicate filaments without pain is possibly
not possible. Scalpel and spade
cry out their innocence. As I watch
treebark creases with waterdrops.

Unwritten letters burn. Correspondence lies
along the diagonals from love to apathy,
and lies between graced notes
toward an interruption of language.

Memory scrapes
through a hardened rind; grazes
permitted gentleness.
Presence that was; I have
no images to declare.

Except, perhaps
an evening gesture,
some voice, a clear tone, barely missing
the true concern, but not care.
Residues only; yet they nourish.

      — Bob Elliott