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  • Writer's pictureandrew jeter

The Blank Space

for Paul, Kara, DuShon, Dorothy, Pam, Philip, Earl, Chris...

What is the promise of the blank space,

the empty glass, the bone-white page,

the mask still in its wrapper, the puff of

air before you speak, the glottal stop,

the extra space resting just beneath

her obituary?

What is the expectation of the plastic bottle

before the lake is poured in, the pothole

left after the plows have all gone, the kettle

sitting cold on the dormant stove,

the pen out of ink?

What is the pledge of

the coffee cup in cupboard,

the plate on shelf,

the spoon in drawer,

hairbrush on dresser,

dress in closet,

handbags on hooks?

What is the vow of

the beach at dawn,

the side street at night

where a bike rests on its side,

the picnic table after a heavy rain,

the left side of the red sofa,

the podium in your classroom

standing vigil until your return,

the swiveling, ergonomic office

chair that sits


What is the covenant

of the coffin?

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