Alliteration is used here and there throughout "Tissue." The first instance is in the first line:
Paper that lets the light
This delicate /l/ sound is associated with light throughout the poem, which is an important part of the discussion of paper's translucence. Additionally, because the lines are so short, alliteration also occurs between lines. "[T]hrough," "this, " "things," and "thinned" all chime together in the first stanza, another soft sound conveying the delicateness of paper.
The second stanza uses alliteration too: "kind" chimes with "Koran," "books" with "back," and "hand" with "has." Here, the poem discusses writing in the back of a book which records births, deaths, height, weight and so on (based on a true discovery made by Dharker). The prominent alliteration accentuates this description of the markings in the back, drawing the reader's attention to the way that the words of the poem are selected with intention and purpose, just like those at the back of the speaker's Koran.
In the third stanza, /s/ alliteration creates a smooth sound: "sepia," "smoothed," "stroked." This helps bring to life the way that paper is smoothed over time by human touch. The /s/ sounds in the sixth stanza ("slips," "say," "sold") are delicate, and support the speaker's focus on store receipts—all the bits of paper that human beings don't really value. The /s/ sounds suggest the fragility of this paper, and also evoke the wind that forms part of the line 24's simile: "[these papers] might fly our lives like paper kites."
In the fifth stanza, "rivers," "roads," and "railtracks" alliterate. These /r/ sounds cut a route through the stanza like the things they describe—the way humans cut through a landscape with a road, for example.
The seventh stanza returns to the link between the /l/ sound and light, imagining a city made out of paper. The speaker conceives of this translucent metropolis as something beautiful, and the /l/ sounds help convey that beauty: "place layer over layer, luminous" (line 26). In this stanza and the next, the poem also uses /b/ alliteration:
and never wish to build again with brick
or block, but let the daylight break
This alliteration draws the reader's attention to the poem's construction. Foregrounding the fact that the poem is made out of language mirrors the way that an architect uses bricks. As throughout the poem, the speaker highlights the constructive power of language and paper.