The Blotting-paper

He opened a book
he hadn’t opened for years
a sheet of blotting-paper fell
from between its leaves
it looked like the map of a city
whose streets petered out into blank
or led into blot
overwritten with false beginnings
and no real endings;
and he tried to remember the hour
he first had lost himself
in that labyrinth of words once almost
decipherable by
the mirror in the dim hallway
of a house no longer
on the map.

From From Elsewhere. Reproduced with kind permission from The Gallery Press.