The Spaces Between

by David Sloan

What insistent whispering crowds out sleep?

It coats me like pollen, buoys me against
the weight of daylight, points to the spaces

between things.  When I press my fingertips
together, diamonds appear.  Between tree limbs,
stairs spiral skyward.  Below birds’ wings,
above pages in books, a sky bowl catches light
and our hope for overflow.

Between pebbles in the garden, a seed,

architect’s plans scrolled and tucked away.
Trapped light waits to climb the stairs

and unfurl.  Everywhere the geometry
of branchings.  In darkness tree roots
coil over and under each other, fortified
tenfold by their interlacing,
like fingers praying.

The numbers of the body do not lie.

Oneness loves itself into symmetry,
mirrors of arms and legs ending in the surprise

of fives.  Between the singing of our skeletons,
the fountain of dead-seeming bones.
We forget where blood is born.
And if every bone fits into its rightful joint,
what is the skull’s socket?

When we press our bodies together,

a raft bobs between two blues.
Sun and full moon seesaw at the edges

of the world.  Streaked shavings fall,
float into the middle, where we always
want to be.  Even in extremity,
when we fall out of the between, we keep
saving each other, over and over.