A New Poem by Justin Lam


Vacancy is the space
separation and anxiety

Vacancy is solitude
safety from the cold
in the warm embrace of summer sun
where birds flock
in the space of absent clouds
arrant winds
from forgotten empires
fill the space of silence

Vacancy is the long stretch
between home and vargrancy
under starless skies
over paved streets
with no notions of grandeur
or civility

Streetlights lead the path
as we rolled past
wander under moons
moaning with each roam
splinters in the spotty city
leaves trails of blood
under our feet.

Extinguished cigarette butts
on a linoleum floor
where the air reeks of
fragrant lilacs
and spoiled gun
the soft whir of
driftless fans
dance with shadows
of passing cabs
If I can’t hold
vacancy will take my place

Vacancy is the sensation
of fingers trailing down your back
chilling to the spine
and warming to the hard
both a familiar and foreign
welcomed in silence
and forgotten
in crowds.

Vacancy is
warmth, comfort
sadness and regret
but more importantly
vacancy is an act
in which I close my eyes
and for a moment
wishful nothing.


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