Your Shadow

by Lacey Smith

You didn't look like your self and
I thought your clothes had grafted into your skin.
Seven layers of dirt beneath a pair of lenses
like two swollen eyes peering from binoculars,
pressed to the glass, all cartoon-like.

When we were younger, the sun used to pass
through your mother's prayer flags and press shapes
right into the grass. As legs grew longer,
(as time shoved into us), muscles grew weaker.
I couldn't help wondering how long you'd last.

Everyone thinks you're something majestic
and everyone is so intoxicated by your mere presence.
But I know what lies beneath the keys, the windsor knots,
the ever-growing beard, the costello frames.
I know what makes up the insides, what makes up your unseemly guts.

No matter how unbecoming, the mappable history
stretches across our shoulders when we hug hello,
a living graph of opportune moments.
The many, many can gaze and gawk,
but I will never gawk, nor gaze, nor stutter.

Nor will I fail to reassure if things perchance just
come undone.


Author's Note: A poem about a friend.

Posted on 05/18/2009
Copyright © 2021 Lacey Smith

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gabriel Ricard on 05/18/09 at 12:47 PM

You certainly seem to have their number. A well-written, flawlessly detailed character study. You know this person all too well, and you give us a terrific indication of that here.

Posted by Kris Mara on 05/18/09 at 04:36 PM

an in depth look at perceptions what lies beneath -- I agree, this is a very detailed character study, well done, pulls no punches

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 05/18/09 at 04:48 PM

I'm in love with stanza 3, but the whole is so well written, and the ending says solid things about you, the friend. Thank you.

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