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The parcel was wrapped
In exquisite dried pulp,
A thousand scraps of texts
With their arms around each other;
Obscured, fighting for air
And space.

A ribbon, detached
From a 1950s typewriter,
Neatly tied into a sloppy,
Floppy bow.
Fingers grew muddied with ink
As purchase was gained
On the stiff knot.

The sides were carefully smoothed
With short, museful strokes.
In the middle lay a word,
Ghosts of rusting
Keys from said writer of type,
Secured by copper wire, old string
Threaded carefully
Through skeletal spokes.

She looked around.
The walls were full of nouns;
Similes bulged in her pockets;
Even the carpet was littered,
With agile adjectives.
But this was a special word.
One devised just for her,
That no one ever
Had seen in the history
Of from here to there,
Then back again.

And he’d created it just
For her eyes to see,
Her hands to feel,
Her ears to hear,
Her senses to
Revel in.

She nibbled the edge of the word
Thoughtfully, and found herself
To be the happiest,
Inkiest girl
In the whole,
Wide . . .