Shadows and Their Agency

Fold her arms across her chest, the night is a young
skipping girl.

Death smells like death, once you know it. Walk in,
say aloud, “This room smells like death.”
Shadows and their agency.

The late hour when we think
in the oily cloak atop slumber, the fiery figment
comes down off the wall, tumbling with colored garlands.

Hug an empty space tight
as though it were a teddy bear. Round up the darkness
and find it fits in a thimble… so why is it
we fall in?

If a crow calls at night, something’s amiss.
Back up into the corner least visited, carrying an old jacket
that smells of a small boy. Lean your head back
and if you hear his voice
go ahead and kneel
and cry.

A lie could metamorphose as a caterpillar does
into a moth with a skull for a face. Moaning
on backyards dusted with cold dew, soldiers still cramped
in their trenches, eyes on their muddied boots.

Dance in the grass. You’re not young anymore.

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