I won’t scab you over with Tipp-Ex;
it never looks as clean as I’d want.
And you won’t be rubbed out
Always a smudge of lead,
licking an echo of distrust.
Eraser shreds stay and irritate
sensitive skin. The page is weaker
for the effort; my pretence
of your never being
there at all
when you were
and are always to be
this indelible mark.
Yes, the page is weaker,
vulnerable to hasty rips,
and tears, words gouged too hard.
I scribe it much more carefully
than in your stopped-watch day.
I cross you out with sharpest nib,
but will never quite get rid.