I am the Emptiness Between My Atoms

My life rustles.
Doubt strengthens my faith.

The knife that wounds me
strikes mostly nothing.

My glass is full of hunger.
And the eruption of distant stars.

It is easy to think wind blown trees
swat the sky with their leaves.

I discovered this old slowness.
I embraced my obsessions like a prophet.

Cultural torpedoes
sunk my ship of state in heavy waters.

There I am on turbulent seas
afloat in the lifeboat of forgiveness.

Void and expanse are not good names
for what exists between stars.

My molecules are interested in being me
for only so long, then they go.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Body Shaming

Lori looked at the many pieces of paper
pinned to her body by other people.

The word shame printed in many hands
in pen, pencil and marker.

Almost all of the authors were men
but twelve women joined their club.

One at a time Lori removed the pins
and their prickly critiques.

She stacked the pieces of paper together
bound them with a rubber band

and added them to her collection
sorted by date.

The pins she added to a garden-size trash bin
that was now three-quarters full.

The collection was quite large
and she thought of making a Rubenesque collage

out or all the pieces of paper
and several hedgehogs out of all the pins.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney