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Hanna Stephenson


Scored

For clay to stick to clay,
the slick surface must be scratched,
scored, marked up with x's and slashes.
Adhesion requires gashes,
gaps. Unblemishedness lacks grip,
is slippery, frictionless. Think of the ceramist,
and also the chisel-wielding
sculptor, chipping marble from itself
so that air and your eye might meet absence
and seek to reidentify it.
Think of the harpist, strengthening
the soft pads of her fingertips as she pulls
the strings of her harp.
Yes, she must maintain thin calluses,
and still preserve the ridges that are carved
into her hands, her tools,
so that string reverberates against
scored fingerprint, transcribing collision as sound.

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