Brian Muriel - March 8, 2021


And there is no such emptiness quite like

The pulsating black unoccupied oval

Center direct in the ultrasound screen.


We looked on while she nudged the plastic wand

Millimeters around your insides

Amazed by the invasiveness

Yet a hopeful thrust reveals the dark, unbroken

Circle enmeshed in wavy grays and

Taupes; it swirls and churns like so much smoke

From cinders in an atmosphere then disappears.


She nodded and with a smooth effortless motion with her arm 

The wand exited you and was placed on the silver tray.

She excused herself politely–retreating

To the opened office down the hall.

He came a few minutes later with a clipboard and

An ashen look and it took only moments to know from his face

That all those moments inside our minds

Where we planned and prayed

And uprooted so much was all for naught.


Emptiness is your hand caressing your belly

Next to me in our car as we drive home.

You now alone inside yourself.

Brian Muriel is a high school English teacher in suburban Chicago where he lives with his wife and young sons.