The green and white shell is just big enough
I can curl my pinkie finger part way
inside, where it is smooth, slippery, clean
and dry as it never was when alive.
There are many kinds of spaces like this,
lovely but slightly odd with absences
of some past or future that will/was/won’t
fill the gap hollowed with infinite care.
There are other types of spaces, you know,
in which some enormous pressure is gone
or at a great distance. I dream of life
somewhere with a few folk and many pines.
For others it is the space in the day
after the kids sleep or before they wake;
the high emptiness of the clouds over
great waters; streetlamps after the bars close;
sunlight through lace streaking faint trails of dust
over wooden floors freshly swept, while flutes
and guitars quietly sift through the air;
the loud crowds in which there is no known face.
These are all intimate spaces, defined
by presence. For good or ill, we know what
is lacking, what is missed, unlike the first
space before any others, when nothing
was nothing; nothing was needed or lost,
nothing was missing, and everything was.