The Shadows

Somewhere in the dark of the earth, something grows. Everywhere. Plumules’ unfurl at the speed of moving shadows, probing in the lightless decay, the tap-root radicle drawn down to a distant magnetic core. O gravity! O Higgs Boson! What mysterious force is this that beckons us up and on? They tell us we are made of light yet we are crispest and best defined by shadow. The outline of our forms, distorted by angles, ever contracting, expanding, contracting again. We are the long and the short of it. As temporary as a suit of clothes. A birthday suit once firm. once swollen with blood and life, deflates like a carnival balloon, caught where the fenceposts converge, amidst the flattened cracker-jack boxes and the white cones still sticky with spun pink sugar, a spiral of red ribbon clinging fast to the knot where some kid still plump in his youth twisted the make-shift valve closed with the ends of his fingers, trapping within the bright orange bladder, the second most abundant element in the known universe, so that, for awhile, it would float above the sideshow, bobbing with every step, jaunty and almost alive, something lighter, something defiant of the rules which hold us fast, just a little splotch of color to carry around for a moment, a luminous egg ruled by the duke of the noble gasses, dancing in the Klieg lights to the calliope’s reel, while all over, out beyond the carnival corona these things lie in the dark, buried and probing for a light of their own, grass seeds and and acorns in the midst of their mechanical unfurling, whole forests lurking below our feet, the shade of some future that might never come, the shadows that will spin like the innards of clocks, tooth into tooth into time.

o O o

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