When Paper Weeps

by Lorri Centineo

You wrote, “The world is full of paper.”
And purple ink.  O Kasmiri,
Did Shakespeare pull your magic to midsummer nights?
Fae Saffron, you are deepest violet with mind
Long as golden stigmas, spicy tongued
Your soul knotted through with words
And twisting through the hearts of exiles.
However would one write of you, write to you?
Like the beggar woman reaching, open handed
Between the folds of time to touch your distant land,
Thought pure, adorned with fading henna scratched?
What riches meted out of milk and honey fade?
What now do your pointed minarets etch skyward,
Of that land and this land or a muezzin’s forgotten calls to
His God and Your God and Our God and your mother’s
Trail blazed for you through nascent stars’
Milky brightness?
What wisdoms do you spill eternal in the heavens
As its tapestry entwines your name?
And so mine is a silly writ to you
Breathing aroma of rarest mountain flowers,
And begging from the universe mere alms of verse.
In grease I smear on glass between poesy and truth,
To fall through cracks like stardust on sacred papyrus.
Would that I could write to you.
But there is no more paper.