Emily Dickinson's Gorgeous Nothings
Pieces of envelopes–folds, seams, throats,
flaps, backs – shaped her texts. Fragments
of poems fledged out of these nests,
frugal bits of notepaper kept in her pockets,
along with a slim lead pencil.
At dusk, she saw gorgeous nothings
too wondrous for definition, wheels
of birds soaring beyond gravity in a sky
clogged only with music, notes
that silenced all on pointed open flaps
spread out and splayed to wings,
rising in flight, feathered words of hope –
or darkness, flying to the light.
These slanted print or cursive nothings
find habitation in the smallest scraps,
and travel where they will –
fill a point or fold, leave spaces blank,
or migrate upside down, form columns,
shoot as arrows unbound by form or edge,
give comfort, suggest the possibility
of flying, trying out new wings.