Howard Firkin
Is this condition possible? I thought
a vacuum had to be an empty space?
I shouldn’t even get to see the face
that’s hanging in my mirror. This place ought
to be as clean as mortuary steel,
but this is empty of another kind:
it’s object full but purpose empty, clean
of reason, free of knowing what you mean,
the blank of having nothing on your mind,
the space of having nothing left to feel.

All words resolve to facial gestures here—
no air to give them shape enough to call.
The time has come when everything is clear—
so clear you can’t see anything at all.