They once called it a paper trail

Hassan Melehy

All may be pardoned, except
for those abandoned by ancestral crimes

whose full reach remains unmeasured,
except as the vague but unending echo

of a drawn-out chorus of rarefied opinions,
and only then because no one

may be expected to volunteer exposure
to even a shred of such intense boredom.

Even in those tiny nooks of amusement
one person or another manages to find,

blips in the long view, there’s a sense
it could end at any moment,

if not through attrition, then through
a stealthy cycle of foreclosures.