He was compelled to write his name
in a book, this
Graeme Napier -

just one of many students
opening pages, coming
here before me.

He felt compelled to have someone
else bear witness
to his fact: here, searching

as I am tonight -
maybe it was last year
or last decade

or yesterday -
the book itself
has been well-

thumbed since an accession in 1954 -
its edges are
soft with use.

Where is he now this
Graeme Napier?
His name is written

small and precise
in pale blue ink
at random on p53.

A full stop following
@..A. and a heavy underscore .@..A... do not speak

an attestation 
of either boredom or
desperation -

they do not tell
the singular man:
his character or his brain

or the heart within -
they only say he was here -
Graeme Napier.
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