Leaving Shadows Behind
The neon light hums its discontent
At three o’clock in the morning.
It and the sound of my heel-toe-clap
On the pavement is the only noise
That breaks the humid late summer air.
Vague shadows of myself dance before me,
I catch them, swallow them, and leave them behind.
This routine is repeated every ten seconds
As I pass lamp post after lamp post.
I left her shadow at an all-night diner,
Her fork suspended in mid-air
The yoke from a bit of egg dripping, was the only motion
As I told her I was leaving for good.
I had enough, I told her,
This is the last time you can look at me
And think I should love you the way you want me to.
You can shape sugar cookies into little hearts and red sprinkles
But you can’t shape me into your arms.
I smiled to myself to hide the sadness, as I caught my shadow,
swallowed it and left it behind.