My childhood home
is empty – its echoing hallway still
lit through the glass I cracked
with a stone; its bare steps always
finishing in key-fumbling darkness.
Through the door
persists a long-cooled chair,
the curtainless living room’s
broad desk, a pad’s blank page.
The blue feint lines
await forever more flows of my ink –
a language I was learning,
my struggle to prove a theorem,
a letter to my father.
Across the flat
is the kitchen that held him once.
Filling vessels from the yellow shelves
then turning his attention to the burning stove:
thinking of feeding us, thinking
of leaving us; tossing
the smoking thoughts like pancakes.
I hear footsteps:
the staircase that carries me back down
carried him, guiding our twin motions,
both of us swallowed
like atoms of a rare, light gas
diffusing from the house.
not just over my father and me,
but everywhere, subtly.
We move through the world
in its unspoken reach –
the low sky, the distances
between people on the street.
is where someone has been,
somebody still with overcoat flying,
running through blank heaven without end.