Rent My Shadow

published in current online issue of
Tribes April Issue-Rent My Shadow

Once I had a liquid shadow, kept it in a jar
But I know it hid in a black box at night 
And in the morning stained my curtains bloody
An imprisoned shadow stinking of fossil and fear

The closet was full of sweating specters
I had to choose one as my constant companion,
which landed me in trouble with my ancestors
Others I rented out to my followers

The shadow had its own shadow traveling through air
Sometimes emerging from my tombstone-imagination
A cardboard shadow darkened by the full moon
Escaping and climbing over the rooftops

A stalker at dusk, smoking a pipe, smelling of agony
It didn’t resemble me, so I chased it away
It just looked like a fern, like a cold seawater algae
that broke through windows passing on the street

It held hands with strangers in the alleys
It moaned frequently, ambushed trembling visitors
It danced on top of the doorways of abandoned buildings
The wicked thing had the color and shape of gloom
Finally, it disappeared in a wreckage of bodies, beneath a cloth
And when I slowly opened the jar, 
Invisible ink spilled onto the bottom of my shoes
Right foot, left foot, skimming the ground
Rising into a sky of tattered silhouettes. 

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