To My Shadow
You stand behind me at the podium,
a mute accuser, and refuse to speak.
Words mean nothing to you.
Late, you rush ahead of me
on a deserted street, a total stranger,
while I hurry to catch up to you.
You have the floating liquidity of
a ghost who disappears around corners
and takes on odd shapes in the dark.
Sometimes you cling to me, a shady
figure slouching in doorways and alleys,
but other times you vanish completely.
Shadowy self, lonely double, I don’t know
which of us is more insubstantial.
Edward Hirsch. Special Orders.