By Muna Agwa
Solstice Blessing and Diaspora Nova by Monica Ong
If There Were No Emptiness by Margaret Atwood
If there were no emptiness, there would be no life.
Think about it.
All those electrons, particles, and whatnot
crammed in next to each other like junk in an attic,
like trash in a compactor
smashed together in a flat block
so there’s nothing but plasma:
no you no me.
Therefore I praise vacancy.
Vacant lots with their blowing plastics and teasels,
vacant houses, their furze of dust,
vacant stares, blue as the sky through windows.
Motels with the word Vacancy
flashing outside, a red neon arrow pointing,
pointing at the path to be taken
to the bored front desk, to the key-shaped key
on the dangling brown leather key holder,
the key that opens the vacant room
with its scored linoleum floor a blear-eyed yellow
its flowery couch and wilted cushions
its swaybacked bed, smelling of bleach and mildew
its stuttering radio
its ashtray that was here
seventy years ago.
That room has been static for me so long:
an emptiness a void a silence
containing an unheard story
ready for me to unlock.
Let there be plot.
I Don’t Want to Lose by Mary Oliver
I don’t want to lose a single thread
from the intricate brocade of this happiness.
I want to remember everything.
Which is why I’m lying awake, sleepy
but not sleepy enough to give it up.
Just now, a moment from a year ago:
the early morning light, the deft, sweet
gesture of your hand
reaching for me.
From the Taiwan Cypress in Alishan by Jennifer Huang
it’s true half of us have disappeared
they say our fragrance is that of god
we can’t help we wail for the lost
family axed down for profit
their knives scratch our surface
sometimes they walk beneath our shadows
after dusk searching for something we
in fear dissipate and become