The World is Empty & A Splash of Salts
--John Gallaher

Where maybe you’re living above a cave
and you’re covered in bats
wondering how memory works.

Is it an elevator shaking the walls?
Is it an old woman with a filing cabinet?

Or is it that we love it best
when we don’t know where we are
and it’s maybe a party of some sort,
which permits you to catch several things
in unresolved bits,
like our interchangeable fathers
deep in snow.

Above a cave just like this cave,
there is a man talking about this cave,
or one just like it.

“It’s much like this cave,” he’s saying.
In full winter, it’s good to be
above a cave. That’s one option. Or,
I am made nervous by the cave.

I am made extravagant
by the hooks along the walls, the hooks
that are made to dance.

Presence is enough, perhaps.

But perhaps I meant something else by that
in the past. Perhaps I meant,
on the verge of becoming gestural,
like overnight clouds,
I kept meaning to do something.

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