Natasha Trethewey


Always     there is something more to know
       what lingers     at the edge of thought
awaiting illumination     as in
       this second hand book     full
of annotations     daring the margins in pencil
a light stroke as if
       the writer of these small replies
meant not to leave them     forever
       meant to erase
evidence of this private interaction
       Here     a passage underlined     there
a single star on the page
       as in a night sky     cloud-swept and hazy
where only the brightest appears
       a tiny spark     I follow
its coded message     try to read in it
the direction of the solitary mind
       that thought to pencil in
a jagged arrow     It
       is a bolt of lightning
where it strikes
       I read the line over and over
as if I might discern
       the little fires set
the flames of an idea     licking the page
how knowledge burns     Beyond
       the exclamation point
its thin agreement     angle of surprise
there are questions     the word why
So much is left 
       untold     Between
the printed words     and the self-conscious scrawl
       between     what is said and not
white space framing the story
       the way the past     unwritten
eludes us     So much
       is implication     the afterimage
of measured syntax     always there
       ghosting the margins that words
their black-lined authority
       do not cross     Even 
as they rise up     to meet us
       the white page hovers beneath
silent     incendiary     waiting