I picture them always separate, unfilled, never nested among the others.
In descending order: yellow, green, red. The missing blue.
Concave, hollow, hemispherical, freed of conscience.
Other images – the skies, denser with age.
You stirring with a wooden spoon, cigarette smoldering nearby.
Or the itinerant smell of new sod and wet soil.
My knee aches whenever I traverse stairs or turn quickly.
Which holds more grief, these vessels or memory’s lapse?
Inverted, their capacity remains constant as the heavens, dark or light.
The paling dome, a memory of freshly pulled onion.
Squatting, you would patiently pluck weeds.
I bite my tongue and kneel to place the flowers.
Near this stone, where the crickets chirr and dew worms burrow.
By this mound and these blades of near-silent grass.
Where I accept this moment’s offering. And you do not.
“Bowls, Emptied” first appeared on the blog in January 2016, and was subsequently published in Galway Review in December 2016.