Self-Portrait with Shadow
Sometimes light reveals our thoughts.
Separate and unequal, we blend.
The predominant sibilant in English,
its pronunciation varies.
Sciaphobia is the fear of shadows. Last
winter the wellhead froze and we
chain-sawed our way to warmth,
synchronized in the fading light.
And which decides the other’s fate?
In the flame I detect new life, a hissing
in the cast iron box. Though ranked only 8th
in frequency of use, more words in English
begin with S, leaving additional questions.
Is hiss the opposite of shh?
The umbra is the darkest part
of the shadow, where light is completely
blocked. Not the serpent, but the bow
and a misperception. Shadows grow
in proportion to the distance
between the object blocking the light
and the projection surface. Resembling
infinity, yet missing the link. Two facets
of one darkness. A faint suggestion. Amphiscians
cast shadows in two directions. Or not…
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