Shadow as Time Swallower

by Sarah Marquez

I wonder when it will be my turn
to introduce my shadow to the family,
my mama in her ideal world–
of good men versus bad men,
us versus them.

Or when the teal dress
hung in the closet
will see light.

*

In the mornings, I prepare time
like a meal.
Press preserved breathes
between my hands.
I don’t have many,
so, I store some away
in clean jelly jars.

I write about living
in these lines
& imagine the future
like dust settling
on my hiding place,
as I drop into dreams
of me awakened.

I think how different
my story would be
if I were to erase the words
my father left me.
Go all the way he said.
Easy, like the puff of smoke
exiting his lips.

He didn’t know shadow then,
what it did to the active finch
perching in the bird house
outside his window.

I used to listen to it
flitting about
inside the sunlit walls,
pecking at its breast,
until the enthusiasm cooking
inside it exploded
& its feathers fell out
around it.

Like it wanted out
of that borrowed house,
held together
by borrowed hands.
To leave this place–
too small to get lost in,
too dark to be found.

 

Artist: Unknown

Sarah Marquez is an MA candidate at Southern New Hampshire University. She is based in Los Angeles and has work published and forthcoming in various magazines and journals, including Amethyst Review, Capsule Stories, Crêpe & Penn, Ink&Nebula, Peculiars Magazine and Royal Rose. When not writing, she can be found reading or sipping coffee.

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