Writing a New Leaf

this new page is here
as morning’s here
as you’re here
this new page
not a mark upon it
is virgin territory
pristine as Pleistocene snow,
but the previous page below
is indecipherable,
bleeds through a new sheet
as a ghost mimes through the white of nothing
as this day’s blank uncertainty
sees the shadowlines of was,
absolute. now that it’s done
the leaf written the day before
is still unclear

…  ahead

those pages slip beneath my thumb
mute as the voice of dad from the dead,
become vapor, curl around his nose,
behind glasses they orchestrate his
nicotine squint

smoke from a burning body,
his pre-pyre
disappears in shadow
beyond his head

the good news is
this new leaf
is here

Jim Culleny

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