by Hoa Ngo
95 words

On a rectangle of paper, a series of antique creases. Like the wrinkles or furrows that surround, form an old wound.

A forgotten artifact I am compelled to read. Your handwriting still immaculate but as foreign to me now as hieroglyphs. I am excavating the tomb of our experience, deciphering the origins of the fall of our empire.

Soft sentences when first inked. They have grown sharp, honed by time to a fearful edge. Even that word. The word which for years you have no longer used, caught in the fold of a scarred letter.

Hoa Ngo is a graduate of the University of Missouri's Ph.D. program and the recipient of an NEH Fellowship. He lives in central New York where he teaches Karate to exactly one student. His website is located at hoango.com.

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