Empty is a strange destination,
like arriving at the end of the party.
My mom believes the softness
of my hips goes against what is true,
& there must be some gentler deficiency,
the kind where I am not to blame.
big-bellied Buddhas & Mary in her blue robes.
I cook, I burn the garlic,
empty swells in every direction.
I avoid your gaze, I want your hands.
Even broken, the body carries on with its small tasks.
not oranges, not worlds—always halved, always rended.
The empty drips between the lack & its name—
the one we decided on—meaning promise.
The one we don’t say.