Cuneiform Tablet, ca. 2044 BCE. "This tablet was baked and, in this case, enclosed in another baked clay envelope for delivery. What we see is the sealed envelope, and inside of it there is another tablet."
The unraveling of order: a typo in the cuneiform that needed mucking out, a wandering ox-furrow where the boustrophedon line rambled, drunken, falling in a ditch of proto-leading. We could touch our words, then, fingertips on the impression of a breath, a glottal stop in wet slab clay. Nothing so marked could be all gone; our thoughts had mass, weight. Now, we set them on spinning plates, ever so mutable. We not only can’t touch our words—a bit of static, and they’re like the cat in the box. We can’t ever know whether they’re there, or erased.