James Arlington Wright

The Shadow and the Real

There was no more than shadow where
She leaned outside the kitchen door,
Stood in the sun and let her hair
Loosely float in the air and fall.
She tossed her body’s form before
Her feet, and laid it down the wall.
And how was I to feel, therefore,
Shadow no more than darker air?

I rose, and crossed the room, to find
Her hands, her body, her green dress;
But where she stood, the sun behind
Demolished her from touch and sight.
Her body burned to emptiness,
Her hair caught summer in the light;
I sought, bewildered, for her face,
No more than splendid air, gone blind.