ink and graphite

I walk in the cold air that moves from the north,
a folded sheet of paper in my pocket,
torn from a notebook left by the dead.
No phone or fiction where I stop and sit.
I cast graphite waves on the leaf,
bits of tightly bound lace,
and still wait for the promised swell.
Hand and pencil shiver,
the streaks become smaller.
An age-old scan of the imagined horizon
turns into a quiet and patient wake.
The memory of dipping a steel nib in ink reappears,
the slow drawing of purple sticks and ells along faint lines,
down the slope of a school desk,
and the miracle of painted words.