Home > Chapbook Finalists 2009 > Gacela of the Sheet of Paper

Gacela of the Sheet of Paper

September 5, 2009

From the 2009 qarrtsiluni chapbook contest finalist The Three, by Richard Garcia

Not the sheet of paper rolled into a tight cone,
dipped into a paste of flour and water,
sharpened against a scrap of emery board.

But one that waits patiently to be folded.
The one crumbled up into a ball, or dancing, like
those sheets of paper observed by the first aviators
revolving in the currents of clouds.

Aye Luna, goddess of paper, unroll your mantle:
did you not glisten the skin of my first love
just before her mother came home
from the graveyard shift at Can-Co
and I slipped out the window, seen only
by you and the paperboy?

No, not the spear made of paper, flicked
from a notch in a pencil between prison bars,
across tiers and ramp ways, the one
that can pierce a man’s heart.

Without significance, wet paper in the rain.
The birth certificate, the death certificate,
the warrant, the summons, the sealed orders.

I want that sheet of paper slipped under a door
at midnight, that code invisible to all but candle flame.

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Richard Garcia is the author of The Persistence of Objects from BOA Editions. His poems have recently appeared in Ploughshares, The Georgia Review and Crazyhorse.