Tabula Rasa

The stylus and the writing tablet;
beautifully crafted, wax on wood,
with thin leather strips to keep the diptych
leaves of Antiquity neat.
And the stylus, carved in bronze, pointed
at one end and flat at the other.
I can imagine them now, out of this glass case
and in the clasped hands
of a young Roman man, scratching out
letters in the grit.
He writes her name, then his confidence wanes
and he scrapes at the wax til it’s smooth again.
He snaps the pad shut.
“No,” he says. “No more.”


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