Umbra

by Rebecca Lu Kiernan


Mercilessly slow,
The sky, the blue-black of a bruise
Began to dismantle the moon,
One bite at first, then a meal.

Blue lake frogs were barking
Like junkyard dogs,
Everything being swallowed up by shadow,
The first time I tasted your lips
After they had been
Deep inside my lips,
Your gently graying hair
Fell, wet, against my face.

You taught me shadows
Could take more forms than light.

Now
We walk through each other like ghosts.
You smell like forest fires muted under ice,
But I keep that August eclipse in a jar
With fireflies and sea shells
Broken in interesting shapes,

And when I open it for other men
The blue-black sky erases me again
And I feel you
Prying my numb fingers off the old, flat earth.
I lift my terrible wings and let you go.


Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Lu Kiernan

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