Howard Firkin
These are not words. These are the shadows cast
when one meets zero. Binary. The light/
its absence. Binary. You cannot write
without a (power) point. Words must have passed
into the future when we weren’t aware.
Words used to live in skin. Words used to smell
of printers ink, their pages stained with tea
or curried fingerprints. They used to be;
they were—there when the book was closed as well—
and now they’re not. They’re nothing: absenceware.

This only is a poem while you choose.
It lives like perfume on another’s skin.
This poem leaves you nothing left to lose:
it ends whenever you decide: begin.