On the evolution of shadowsOverhead, close-up view of a calm lake shore. Sand is visible through clear water. A small wave casts a shadow. Sunlight reflects from a corner.

Shadows swallow shadows,
stone shapes stone.
everything argued into soft edgedness
by drip and drip of the rain,
the diligence of beetles.
Wonder- what was the first shape that
stepped in front of the sun,
left its imprint on the skin of the earth?
Was it a ridgeline thrust up from crust,
or rock cracked, darkness dropped from behind.
There was infant moon’s first eclipse,
trees turned into sundials,

wings sailed birds across the landscapes-
when did the beings of the ground learn

to fear what flew above?
Does the mouse dream of sleep
when the hawk
blocks the light?
Human hands arrived
and threw the ghost of
sparks on dim walls,
sent stone wheels rolling disks
of darkness over the ground.

We have made
a new library of outlines, wrought
webbing between stained glass,
straight-lined wooden benches,
teakettle, pencil, awl, airplane,
the space behind the picture frame,
each one also altered by entropy, borders fuzzed
through time.

But I want to beg the elements to fast forward
and wear through
machine guns,
prison wire,
erode the darkest shadows,
the hardest shadows,
the ones
I wish were only dreams.

Originally published in New South Vol. 7, No. 2 (2014)