Pure Space

by

 

by Vera Lisa Smetzer

 

Ruins of an old brick building, no roof, sky
falling on the ground and sunflowers growing
tall like odd gods of the abandoned.
No window panes, only arched spaces opening
to the air like hungry mouths of children.
I click the shutter on sunlight and shadow

until I dream this space, expose
images inside the bricks as I wash prints
in the kitchen sink. A pigeon is caught
flying towards the light in one photograph.
Paul asks, What will you do with these?”
“Look,” I say, “how the light slants against

the brick. This one, the bird’s nest
perched on a rusty rain pipe, white chalk
droppings stain the bricks.” He shakes his head
and looks at the photographs again.
I cannot teach him this perfection
of pure space skimming through arched windows.

I kneel to capture sunlight streaming through
a low break in the bricks. I forget
the smell of week-old garbage in the next alley.
I smell the earth holding fragile shoots of grass.
I turn and behind me a second story window
frames the building behind it and shadows

hang like pictures. I could set a table
and chair in the middle of this lot. Sit
and listen to the birds, plant basil
to keep flies away. Develop prints
in a tray of rainwater. I could live here
and call it home.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Alvera Lisa Smetzer

Arched Space, photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

“Arched Space,” photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Urban Ruins in Wichita, Kansas, photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Urban Ruins in Wichita, Kansas, photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

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