There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
—Leonard Cohen

Once we begin to think in terms of holes,
we see holes in everything—not just cracks
that let the light in, but holes, gaping

in the clouds, escaping the hours, carving into the earthen wall.
Holes in our shadows, our dreams, our words.
And what once was felt empty becomes familiar.

I have wanted to fill them in. I have wanted to make
the world polished, perfected. Have tried to smooth
what resists being smooth. And I’ve failed.

Which is to say that I have been tutored in openings.
And how they are everywhere. In love.
In birdsong. Desperation. Silence. Fear.

Where I once craved fulfillment,
I now study hollowness. It is the same thing,
I tell myself, only different. Less me. Less you.

And sometimes I think it will work—that happiness
might well consist of more nothing. Not much of us is left.
But sometimes, though I’d rather not say it,

I want more solid things—like hands. Like skin. Like
dreams without cracks. Like words that mean
what they try to mean. Like conversations

with no endings, no conclusions, no gaps.


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