I Want to Find Noting
First, you must get rid of absolutes: Those Sundays you had as a kid When you watched dust float through sunslats And into net curtains; When you were bored, And had nothing to do.
It was always sunny on a Sunday And still you were indoors And mum was Hoovering and you had a headache And you didn’t want to go back to school And yet you wouldn’t move off the floor.
Nothing. You picked the beige carpet. Always Nothing in the floating motes Nothing through the window. Nothing on the TV and nothing to do.
You felt like nothing, Like it was all over you And it stuck to you Like sea spray on the billowing curtains.
Mum said, You’re a good for nothing. You thought, I have to stop looking for nothing. You thought, I want to see everything.
And so you took up star-gazing, Bought a cracked telescope from a friend of a friend; Learned how to put it together
One rainy weekend.
But by the time you got up the hill behind the street The night sky had clouded over. You forced the smudged telescope back into the box And told everyone at school you Saw nothing, Like you expected, Slammed your locker shut And ignored the wretched thing.
Mum was furious. All that money, and you saw nothing? You kept your mouth shut, Thought of the thick black cloud Like a curtain pulled tight over some mess. I saw nothing.
But how can you see nothing? Nothing is not there. Get rid of absolutes, Pull back the curtain with care.
An ivy vine picking through brick Or the clickety clack of the train track The clunk of my keys as I write Something in everything I think, I type.
There is something beyond nothing And it sticks to us like whitewash on our fingers. It spots freshly-painted walls And dots the sky with stars.