The Shadow Behind You


The Shadow Behind You

That moment, spent. And another.
This goes on for hours,

days, metal pails filled with condensate,
emptied onto the parched soil
and sucked away within minutes.

What stares back at that precise second?

A void forms flesh, becomes a vessel
tumbled into the darkest rectangle,
leaving no evidence behind.

Our natures, revealed in absentia.

The dog barks at his reflection,
never thinking to examine himself,

while you stoop under the weight
of the tethered black, adjusting

your conscience, killing time.


* * *

“The Shadow Behind You” first appeared in Issue 125 of Right Hand PointingThank you to editors Dale Wisely, Laura M. Kaminski, F. John Sharp and José Angel Araguz for taking this piece.


11 thoughts on “The Shadow Behind You

  1. “Our natures, revealed in absentia…” I understood better who my grandmother was when I walked up to her casket at a viewing. The shrunken body had so little to do with her spirit and personality that it became a negative image of her living presence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Our natures, revealed in abstenia…
    That made me think maybe we do get to know people better after they’ve gone because we choose to remember every little detail about them, their actions and recall all those moments together so as to hold them closer. But memories can be revealing too.

    Liked by 1 person

      • For that reason as well, Robert! It’s true that even with all the misfortune which can befall me, I tend more to have this feeling all will be overcome and I’ll remain strong. I realize that not everyone leans towards that feeling though.

        Liked by 1 person

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