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
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?