Shadow

She is not a mere shape on the grass
but the volume of darkness that falls
in a sable curtain behind my sunlit face
back to the earth. She is the dim, rich compost

where mushrooms grow, a moonless night
full of noises, the next layer down in the lake,
whose cold makes the swimmer draw up her feet.
A column of ink given the dreamer to make

a story. Dimmest part of a fire, whose spark
smolders close, invisible and blue. Bag full of mystery.
Thick book in an as-yet unknown tongue, gnarled tree
far in the woods, its numbered rings hidden in the bark.

Primeval gloom. Dilated pupil. Handful of dusky loam.
Laboratory. Womb. My once and now and final home.

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