The gallery opening is only a few blocks from my house, but it feels worlds away. The hostess is wearing the same kind of strapless black dress that my wife used to wear, and every time she refills my Spumante I can feel those old thirsts bubbling within.
I promised my wife I’d be back in time to give the kids a bath, but I can’t seem to tear myself away from this discussion on negative space and how it shapes our consciousness of place – the notion that we can look at an absence and see an opening.
By the time I get home, my wife and one-year-old are sound asleep but my three-year-old is in the kitchen measuring all of her stuffed animals against the wall. She’s run out of different colored markers and needs help opening a black sharpie so that she can connect all the dots, doesn’t believe me when I try to explain that it’s the gaps that give shape to the whole.
About the writer:
Ben Berman’s first collection of poems, Strange Borderlands, won the 2014 Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Book of Poetry and was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. His second collection, Figuring in the Figure, was released in spring, 2017 by Able Muse Press. In addition, he has received honors and Fellowships from the New England Poetry Club, Massachusetts Cultural Council and Somerville Arts Council. Berman currently serve as Poetry Editor of Solstice Magazine.