Lengthening

They inhabit us as shadows:

The peacock of a wave,

The jackal of a nervous snap

The empty-eyed fawn of pursed fingers you make

run along the floor, to avoid the other person’s eyes

as they try to talk with you.

 

They make deals with our shadows:

Our legs grow bamboo-long, our heads oblong, hair sluicing

like the ribbons ritualizing May

Monkey-ears and hawk-noses made more charcoal-clear in the wood floor,

Quartets of twins fractalled from a single pair of feet: the darker, the lighter, the fading

of crepuscule.

And when the lights finally are snipped free from life,

 

life inhabits them

and they cease to be shadows: uninhibited, they may well be

full-fleshed

More real than tangible, their mouths become the gaping

room to blanket all in a dark digestion:

the turning-over of river-dreams

like kidney-stones by unseen hands —

presumably, of gods.

 

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