Empty Cups

to Raina Sullivan


You can't help but ponder

nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon.


filling empty cups, alongside E-coli, Listeria innocua, nonovirus,

colonies of bacteria, invisible to the naked eye.


Still coating the surface slick, H2O,

condensing into the atmosphere becoming clouds,

rolling across the land to storm wind and rain, lightning

and thunder, all brewing forth from those cups, exactly how

empty are they?


Can they exist, empty cups?

Or are they misinterpretations,

dogs barking at light-prints

bouncing off mirrored surfaces,

reverse reflections of themselves.


Are they fueled by ignorance,

morbid teens gazing into the night sky

wailing, “Oblivion!”

at space

bursting with stars

millions of years old,

galactic spirals of dust,

moons orbiting planets,

black holes the size of our Milky Way.


Better still, abstractions,

adults speaking of the end of things,

relationships failing between people,

yet in the parting of ways,

effects of interactions' reactions

ringing on the duration of lifetimes.


Where are these mythical phenomena,

these empty cups?

Reveal the trick of their contents

blinking into non-existence,

a state seen as often as Loch Ness or


a cheshire's cat smile

hanging over a repast,

brothers and sister, mother and father,

mourning a loved one's place

displaced, like

empty cups

ringing the living room