Paper Splinters

I took your letters
on a cut-rate cruise
on a broken-down freighter,
stowed you away
on an old antique desk
in the engine room
like treasure ashes

A sliver of wood will end me
splinters in my finger
blood drops in a broken draw

I saw you as a letter
gone flat
gone away
torn up

Tons of you are gone from piles
still a desk collapses
when worn down
unsupported
rocked and tossed

I tore you into confetti
threw you out in dry paper rain
into the ocean
written off
forgotten ink

A tiny piece of you
got wedged in a corner

Splinters in my finger
wet the corner scrap in red
just a word that
ends in a comma:
love
—- Douglas Gilbert

Poetry Books By Douglas Gilbert