for the gongs

this poem is a belly’s crack
from the atmospheric weight of lack.
this poem is the last pushy exhale
of dusk turning away the eye of the sun,
this poem forgot about me,
then dressed me
in forgiveness its neglect

it takes everything in me to birth
nothing. how does the poet’s
fingertips commit to the task of squeezing
wetness from your lips, desperate
for you to sample the dryness
of an empty well’s thirst to be

an abusive lover once asked me,
“why won’t you let me love you”

and i spent my days in rewind,
in hopes that my mouth could
breathe out the sound of crowns of dead grass’
scratch against burdened stone

it is the moment you write
and realize your pen
is out of ink. the grind
in halt. the subtle
friction of absence

i take in breath to every crevice,
every bend of body, to blood to atom,
the singers of change, of time, experience,
the every expansive and intangible

the closest view has the more visible holes.
and me is not as connected to i as
we think we are,
like both black hole and star
still… blinded by the role of light
assigned to me, i can’t
escape the inevitable bend
and break of my
own entrapment

empty houses hold homeless sounds
and dust without genealogy
defined floating in gasps of light
succumb to emptiness and voyeurs’ awe

i say to them, “i understand, i understand”.

on the better days, there
tears and silence.
drones that survey.
never drop.

-stephanie ambroise


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