EMPTY SPACES
by lois roma-deeley

Between the lake and river
hemmed by pine trees and small boats
there is a highway leading
to an abandoned house.
And in this house there is a mirror
hanging on an adobe wall. And the wall
guards a window
which frames this view
of a deserted barn with a slanted roof
sitting on the parched ground of a vacant lot
during a cloudless day—
Now supposing I memorize this picture,

would I get the colors right?  name them
burnished slate and porcelain clay,
gypsum dust or sapphire blue?
Could I measure the silence?
valuate its depth and width
like the account left
in fossil leaves, or mineral bone?
You are supposing I should know

the poetry of empty spaces,
the distance between the ripples
and the halos around a winter moon.
But supposing now
all I see is dark spaces
around and in between
that house, that wall, that which invades our dreams—
what could be. And what it means.