Flickering Shadow

The self, like a photograph
offered as a gift. You
were not what you seemed
and still it was worth the risk.

That dream, how to describe it:
the body writing questions
it could not comprehend.

You, standing in a cave
shadow among shadows
in the many layers of darkness.

Me, wet from the bath,
puckered fingers unable to feel
your skin beneath them.

You open your mouth
to the shriek of gulls
and far-off thunder.

II
Face to face, the candlelight throws
the soft, feminine shape of us
in flickering relief on the wall.

I cannot say what I’m really thinking,
admit this wavering, forbidden reflection
is what I have fallen in love with.

The fear of being caught,
anticipation, more intoxicating
than your kisses, your touch.

We blow out the candles,
the image disappears. We are left,
two, lying separate in the dark.

Illustration by Maggie Meshnick

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