December 4

comments 8


Again with these nights
like oceans

they come in fast
and strong—

it’s easy to forget
just how much

of this earth
is coastline—

roughly the same

as from here
to the moon.



Distance first
is cruel,

and then kind,
and then necessary—

our closest star is
alpha Centauri,

and it isn’t even a star,
but two,

a visual binary,
close, at 23 AUs,

or 3,440,751,030 km,
so take that as you will.



Everything is mostly
empty space,

or so of each atom

that makes us up,
and maybe that’s why

we tend to fill
our time

then top it off
with complaints

that there’s never



Or, a void
is tough work.



There’s chemistry
or alchemy at play,

loneliness a liquid,
freedom a gas—

it’s hard to say
how solids

come in, except
that it’s all a phase,

nothing stays
or lasts



but so much

to fill a space,
and it’s not

that nothing’s left,
it’s just so far

apart that only
from a distance

do things ever
still seem whole



But backing up,
things slip

from our grasp—
the moon

is illuminating
the air outside,

and to see is to know,
and to know

is roughly
equal parts gain

and loss


  1. this was a masterful twist and turn through the long, empty night; excellent

    I sometimes tease my pupils at school stating that humans are so thick that – given they are 99% space between each atom – why can’t they align all that space with the space of the atoms of a wall, and walk through it; why on earth did we have to invent doors (… walls, buildings … anything)?


  2. I think reading this poem is a lot like walking through a wall without quite realizing it…and then not being sure you can go back, or want to.


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