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by William DeFord

In the universe, between galaxies, each atom is at a distance of about one meter from its next neighbor. Still, the space between those atoms is not empty; it is bright with light and other radiation from very different sources.
Henning Genz

You didn’t hug
the armrest on
the far end
of the couch:
In the middle,
you sat easy.
I didn’t talk much.
I stayed to my side.

I’m a skeptic
outside your bright
world: your sphere
a nucleus I orbit.
An atom, I hear,
is mostly space,
electrons bouncing
farther toward the out-
er rings, out
in the dark, out

in the spaces.
Wish I could fight
entropy and struggle
to the center
where you are—
bound into a core,
opposites in un-
ion, balanced…

But still I spin
outward, out:
Empty space between us
on the couch.

William DeFord, born in Kentucky, spent his formative years in Katy, Texas. In addition to writing poetry and creative nonfiction, DeFord is a singer/songwriter/guitarist and fanatic reader. He is a senior at BYU.