Poets and storytellers
move into the vacancies
Edward Hopper left them.
They settle down in blank spaces
where the light has been scoured and bleached
skull-white and nothing grows
except absence. Where something is missing,
the man a woman waits for
or furniture in a room
stripped like a hospital bed
after the patient has died.
Such bereft interiors
is just what they've been looking for,
with their lumpy beds,
their birdcages and decks of cards,
their dog-eared books, their predilection
for starting fires in empty rooms.