what will you be for halloween?
i have been sewing shadows together
all winter. pried from the backs of
strangers: a december bird, a frozen birch,
a bundled man passing
on his twig-like bicycle. one deep shadow
from the apartment building
cut free with only my craft scissors.
i'm trying to make do with the supplies
around me. i lick my thumb to stick
my horns on each night & sometimes,
for my fangs, i just take a pencil sharpner
to each canine. they're always dulling.
i don't know what i am yet or what
i will be for the remaining dead days.
ghost neighbors light little fires all across
the back of the mountain. smoke blows upwards
like grey veils. each stiched shadow
gives the costume a new shape.
i could be a broken house
or a crooked hand or a february
too thick with loneliness or a leaf
holding on by its neck. that's the thing
about shadows. they give away everything
& nothing. when i scrape off my own
it always comes back--more jagged each time.
sharper edges. angrier lines. i'm becoming
something else each morning as i work.
see my outline swell & shrink.
a breathing beast. where will i go
with my new design? whose house
will still have a door next year?
in the woods there is the ruins
of an old structure. walls of stacked stone
& a skull-nose entrance. i could
go there with my body & rattle
my soul & see what arrives. i haven't seen
sugar for a long time. it's going to snow
tonight & i pray for mistakes of nature.
a layer of sweet crystal. blued shadows
to pluck from the white.