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A Poem a Week: “Self-Portrait as Paperclip”

Excerpt from Myself A Paperclip

Self-Portrait as Paperclip 

Bent out of joint
in order to hold everything together.
Won’t snap, won’t
dissolve in an acid bath.

But needs to be re-engineered, designed
for the shape of the new
manuscript it clutches, attached like an infant’s latch
to a firm, nourishing nipple.

Rebent, refined, redefined as a notch
maker, page marker, object in place
of a memory. 

As nothing you’d ever find
bundled in bulk at Costco. 

Striking the pen cap against the printed page
you have to look again —
this trinket, so ready to be unfastened.

Excerpted from Myself A Paperclip. Copyright © 2021 by Triny Finlay

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