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Post Road Magazine #34

Unfold

Alan Ackerman


Barnardo. Who’s there?

Francisco. Nay, answer me. Stand and unfoldyourself.

 

A flower, pressed and desiccating in a book, remains untold,

but if you open yours, I might unfold my own wrinkled leaf,

slipped in soft deckle pages roughly cut and on the cover raised

characters of silver foil stamped in bold.  Sister, touch

those ridged lines or slide a finger up my hollow back.

 

Letters form a sequence like a song from an accordion

      when the unfolding bellows articulate a melody, or, by a sleeve,

fold after fold, a pressed shirt is taken from its box,

and creases loosen in white cotton, threaded basket weave.

Enclose me at the neck, button down, snap at the wrists,

 

though the clasp cannot hold the breath that spools into the cold,

a scroll of white between my lips . . . Unfold, accordion of my soul,

venetian blind, open and smooth your self-containing slats.

Place words, each after each, as this pressed pen rolls

on lines that open out below, like a harrow

 

in a field of gold,

so that this eye can open too

and see itself as it unfolds.

 



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