remnant maker

they would leave body bags 
of shredded paper 
outside the office building. 
buldging with slivered words,
i burrowed inside & slept
in the fragment & ribbon. felt 
my tongue tatter too-- become
strips of past necessity. 
a dead credit card humming,
swarming my ears. i wanted to buy
some nonesense like a kiddie pool
for my kitchen or a play-food set
to pretend eat when guests come over.
let words cuff me. 
trance of treasure
& old gold-watched men. a cane
brimmed from the  
plastic lining. all the secrets 
lived there like wasps.
if you don't bother a secret
it won't bother you. naively, i let them
envelope me. wondered who will
do the dismantling of my life
when i am no longer there
to lock the front door & 
junk the junk mail. a little boy
standing resolute above a shredder
& a father telling him
don't get your fingers caught."
i snagged my finger on 
a ripe strand of promise
in the pile. every once in awhile
you find a legal paragraph
so sentimental it deserves to be prayer.
a will wrote itself 
in the basement with only 
a candle & a can opener. 
i always emerged terrified
& papercut. knowing too much
is irresisteble & then irrevocable.
secretly took a few pieces home
to try & sew them back together
on the kitchen table
by the light of the only firefly 
left in the city. i was a good 
investigator of dead trees 
& octopus ink. never did 
get enough pieces to make 
a document. tell me, what evidence
is your favorite? i like 
a driver's license or hand print.
i dusted for more hand prints 
in my apartment & found i was
truly alone. both comforting 
& hollowing. didn't return 
the splinters. i still read
them aloud to myself when i'm searching
for what to say to all the window's
dying insects. we're all just
one good remnant away 
from poof! & gone.

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