In origami the mountain fold
folds down–constructing
an obstacle. The valley fold
folds up: receptacle.
The difference between
structure and stricture,
between paperweight
and wastepaper basket.

My family is silent
about our dead. Hardly
a word about an uncle,
a brother. We children were
to understand that meant:
he was beloved.
Silence as receptacle.

A paper creased
in mountain fold
can be turned upside down—
voilà! valley fold.
And all our dead tucked
safely inside. Save the one
whose body’s lost
on the mountain,
the obstacle,
with which I have
confused the silence,
the absence.

Mountain, valley:
it is a matter
of which side you are on,
and if you have no body—
no matter—
you are on neither side.
You are the fold,
the stylus of silence
on which hinges both
our Cartesian cathedral
and the vertex of our vortex.

Chasm and scaffold,
cornice and crevasse,
the steep pitch of life
and its inverse, its obverse.
Observe, mortals:
the edge. Welcome
to our fold.