My Old Notebook

I have almost used up all the pages

in this old notebook.

It isn’t even old, really.

I just bought it at the start

of this year.


There were so many beautiful

unused pages then,

pages that had never even been turned

until my fingers rippled them

softly, and they whispered emptiness

and so many untouched bars of white

held by black lines.


But now that the notebook is scratched

from being shoved casually

into my backpack,

now that its bindings are limber

and open easily at my touch,


now that its pages are tattooed

with so many words—

(my poetry cradled in the white)

and so many symbols dent the pages

[(…? & , !)]


it is mine as it was not

when I paid for it at the register

of the local office supplies store.


It is mine in a deeper sense

than I can lay claim to any other material

object, because its value

is partially in the fragment

of my soul it guards

(what else, then, is poetry?

Ripples in the air?)


And now that it is torn

and used and pulled

and flipped and loved


now that it has slept beneath

my pillow

and been woken from sleep

to yawn white

so that I could scribble

a late night poem

(such as this one)


now its value is boundless.

Even God would see it

as a treasure.

It is my treasure, the thing

I proudly and lovingly call my own

my only child…

conceived of the words of the world.


It is the notebook where

I chose to write my poetry,

and I proudly declare

that it is more beautiful now

than when I bought it.

The End

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