by Melina Papadopoulos
When I go empty, it is not an act of sadness.
It is not cleansing, erosion, a cry for light, a perch for shadow.
When I go empty, I wish to stay unfilled, a tide pool
that water steps over rather than step in,
one with a silenced ecosystem, where the starfish
flicker on and off like squinting supernovae,
and only when seeing is a necessity.
When I go empty, I do not need to see.
I dismiss darkness because all I need to know
are shapes—the hooked ends of memories,
the cold ovals of afterthoughts, the simmering circles
of self-talk I taught myself how to reject.
I feel around myself, never within. I put an ear to a lung,
and no breath escapes. Breath settles like moths
that forgot what led them here.