Bright Shadows (Spring 2014)

In the shadows
are dark demons
so they said.
I set my gaze to bypass
the shadows
turned my face
resolutely
away from
the shadows
hidden
pushed down
repressed
as shadows should be.

Don’t even look at the
shadows
they said.
The shadows
will pull you under
drown you in
darkness
overwhelm you with
oblivion
suffocate
stifle
strangle
choke you
take your breath away
leave your eyes blind
hands groping in the black black black.

The shadows extended
tentacles
of darkness –
I jerked
away
every time the smooth
blackness
touched me.
Inviting, enticing, beguiling
ensnaring.

I fought the allure
that velvety darkness
those shadows pulling me
in, under
I feared.

Pools of black
depths unimaginable
depths that lead
to desperation
fathoms of flailing
emptiness.

You’ll lose yourself
in those shadows.
Nothing.
Dangerous nothing.

So they said.

Inevitably the day came
when I
could no longer
resist
and
afraid
allowed myself to be
pulled under.
I slid the first steps
changed my mind
I don’t want to be lost
I don’t want to be nothing
scrambled back up
but the tentacles grabbed me
and
despairing
I prepared to be
shadow
nothing.

Braced for darkness
ready for doom
I barely dared to breathe
the air heavy with
shadows.

And I sank
sank in
into the shadows.
They surrounded
enveloped me
wrapped me in their embrace.

I held my breath
ready for the velvety smooth
darkness
of the shadows
to
smother me
blind me.

Eyes wide
(shooting powers of vision beyond the blinding powers of darkness)
lips tightly shut
(fencing in powers of ventilation against the sucking powers of asphyxiation)
in trepidation.

(I saw.)
Not blinded.
(I saw.)

And what I saw left me breathless
as the shadows
shifted
moved
that velvety smoothness

exploding

into shards of light

so bright they did indeed
blind me.

I closed my eyes
shut them tight
but the light pierced through
my eyelids.

Shadows
bright shadows
as I eased my eyes open
seeing…seeing…
as far as I could strain my eyes
the bright
the light
the shadows
drowned me in
delirium
overwhelmed me with
exhilaration
swathed
swamped
saturated
cracked me wide open
filled my lungs
left my eyes brilliant
hands grasping for more more more

bright
shadows.

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