There is no blank sheet—
no white, unblemished page
on which to letter words
together, even in the highlands.

Once when I was there in awe
and almost nothing, irrelevant
but to breathe and drink from streams
of melting snow off peaks

like granite teeth sunk into the blue,
blue sky, lost in my insignificance—
the paper I carried from the world
below was smudged and dirty.

So it is with we humans, never free,
never clean enough to pen
the perfect words without shadows,
without darkness leaking starlight.


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