04: February 2015 #08 - Uninhabited Spaces

Authored by Joyce Nancy

Uninhabited Spaces

by Joyce Nancy

Winter trees reach into the blank sky
like the fingertips of ballerinas, poised and still.
I have ached for you that way in many moments
desolate and desperate, open-armed and bare.
I have wasted days in silence waiting for a phone call.
I have erased myself to make room for you inside me.
Like a broken down house of water-logged wood
I have feigned accommodations. The restless earth
resists me. My heart is haggard and hollow.
I have called myself a home.
I have been a gracious liar.
The steps to my front porch are empty. I pretend
I have built them to receive you, that the space
you could fill exists only when you arrive, broken
and tired, needing something hard and cold and dirty.
It is not enough to be quietly recollected
like a statue kept in a dusty corner. Behind your eyes
my colors fade in and out. The image shifts
when you try to remember.
My limbs are still where you left them
but the things I want you to come back for
are not here. They never were.
I was only ever wavering and unsteady.
I had nothing to give.