Empty Lot Poem

Matthew Dickman

Now anything can happen,
anything in the world, you
just name it, you just think it
and it will appear like a father
in a hallway who is less
an astronaut and more a meteor
which reminds me about
how I feel sitting here thinking
I never really wanted to live
forever, not with this grass
and this gravel talking about
how human I am, but get me
in a car, get me sitting
at a table with my cousin
and the cancer she used to have
and I’ll be crying like a small
animal in the mouth of a big
animal, crying at the moon
and my mother and the blue
air and the soft dirt between
my toes but not all the dirt
thrown on top of me, thrown
over my shoulders, not that!
You know, I think once, someone
even loved my shoulders.
Can you imagine that? This empty
lot goes on and on like my friend
Zuzu in San Francisco, up a hill
and down a hill, and right
into his own body. Right now
he’s probably bending over
a mat and emptying his mind,
the empty refrigerator and empty
hands, empty car, the empty cup
and cock, the empty street,
empty room after room after room,
empty me and empty you, empty
sky but for the fact that it’s never
empty, empty tree, yeah an empty
tree but for all the bodies, all
the things we could hang from it
with only a little rope and a chair.