On Nothing In Particular

I don’t mean ‘not any thing,’
Or not ‘no thing,’
as in: that definition really
leaves nothing
to the imagination.

Not that.

And not ‘no part’ either.
Like something of no interest or value,
as in: those definitions mean nothing
to me.

I mean:

the something
that does not exist;
the absence of all
magnitude or quantity;

and that,

if we have a goose egg, tennis love,
and we also have anything else—
cricket ducks and an empty
cup—then we have been left
with two things.

I mean that zero is also
a number.

It counts for something.


This is not just the fabric
of the universe.

We're talking about the
formation of a discharge,

a pus of
something significant,

bubbling up
inside of space

and time.

I’m talking about
the way everything arrived
out of nowhere.


'Mother’—by which I mean
the process of giving

birth, the constitution
of a being;

A coming forth
is what I mean;

The way you were

nowhere once
and then poof

you became




And so, together:
I mean everything

came from the same place—
the same place it's all going back to, too—


And so, I also mean
that this phrase does not mean:
there is not a thing of import in all this


I don’t mean perfect relativity
or that all our lives are


I mean everything came from the same place and that is not


I guess I mean:

Nothing matters—

or what is not
has been on its way

to becoming something

In fact, it’s here already,
but not quite

ritual bath

this font is some gothic attempt at god-science,

some crude light-gathering device

turned empty cauldron of pluming mysteries

that will be drained

finger by finger

one cross at a time


even the bats swoop

down from the rafters

groaning with age

to bathe in

this bowl

primping bodies they hope&pray

transform into doves—

fly away


for children

it’s just a quick dip

in the god’s ancient stew:

-one can cream of concupiscence

-one generous scoop preserves sealed in light
& breath

—anything else you’ve cupboard-ed

dropped in like
an immersion blender




the price of admission

and adoption

has not changed for centuries


accept it


if they tell you you are not tall

enough yet

if they won’t even sprinkle you

with it

nicely pray for the god to damn them until

they get it

and while you’re at it

climb their

font’s marble lips

& shatter the glass surface with a fist

& when they require an answer for it


children of the god

were not created to be

left without this rite


talk about what we mean

when we say we are saved

after getting wet


last I checked

the devil

no longer exists

Little Hands

I see children walking in smoke.

dust-thawed before the god’s horns are blown.

Their small-faced glances of death

worn in the dry mist of this eternity.

Inside each chest lays stones—

gray, heavy, grating—bone over bone.

Empty rib cages rattle.

I hear whispers of parched lips.

Ash falls, blankets this sulfur-fire deep.

Dusk glimmers where I stand

among fiery flakes pinched tight for safekeeping.

Then my bones enflesh, become little hands.

for Connie

Garrett Mostowski’s work has recently appeared in The Galway Review, Across the Margin, Geez, Clerestory, and others. He is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and a second-year doctoral candidate in public theology and creative writing at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He’s a pastor in downtown Detroit, Michigan.