A Sense of Empty
Stuffing a planet in your pocket, what would you
find about time, or the time you didn’t own a pocket;
also, the vast empty of what we can’t keep in mind
like this morning’s snow as if it could capture a sense
of space, lost time or anything except what’s cobbled
from other snow falls, fraught moments, like the time
I stole cereal from the Benson General Store for Emmy
which was also a kind of empty, but not what gets
described with mathematics as space dimensions.
I read a book once that said human history could be told
as a sequence of invented drinks: beer, wine, whisky, tea,
coffee, and Coke—Coke being the greatest deviation
from the nature but you can’t tell where to draw the line
between nature or what’s made up, like the quark nobody’s
seen with a naked eye or how theft could make sense.
Beer was discovered when barley was left in a vat
catching water, somebody tasting it with that empty-pocket
feeling like a mother in a row of Benson General cereal.
Who can put it all together—the sympathetic, the synthetic,
the analytic and the peculiar way things evolve in time
and space, the links between drinks, as beer is to Coke.
You probably read books too and like me, doubt that a single
moral standard exists. You know space does, but you’re
not sure where, in the end, it empties which is what you feel
when you’re off into a winter snow by yourself and you
think you know snow, common as your coat pocket but
then it melts to the empty you never know what to do about.
First published in The Southern Review