Shadow is substance. There is cold in shadow. The mean radiant temperature (MRT) in the cold of Vermont is assuaged by the cloudless sky. The dark side of the moon. Bluing shadows of noon, speak dawn song briefly, trampled down meadows… In the sky, two contrails, forming moisture in the air, blinding refracted rays, take the same direct path Westerly from the Azimuth downward into tendril branches. Quickly, they disperse, drifting, ice crystals, fading, two stringy vapor trails per plane. The sun is the same sun in the Yucatan 365 days ago, closing the eyes, conjuring a state of mind, serene, sand sticking to the soles of feet, green (manifold), blue (limned) and reflections on wavering aquamarine (temporal). Elemental: attraction, compulsion, the freedom of unscripted plans, what is there, unknowable at the time, is not there now. (Her life, her death). Color is light. Lie in the shade of a palm tree.

Lids, red, veinous, and in shadow. Without shadow light will burn. Without the unknown (dark), the knowable would not be symbolic (mother and child), symbiotic, enigmatic. (“Apollo has come and gone. But the fact that a dozen men have walked upon its surface does not make the moon one bit less puzzling to the scientists.”i) Earth’s knowable surface is a site of proud and wasteful surcease and macrobian fruitfulness. Earth: a blue ball sling-shot through an irrelevant arc, opposing, di-polarized from a dust bunny satellite, sustained in electromagnetic wave energy, a codified mystery naively trained and honed in on, until the end forever: gas, fire and collapse, without shadow.

 i Minh-ha, Trinh T. “Yellow Sprouts”



by Robert M. Detman


Robert M. Detman has published fiction in The Antioch Review, Santa Monica Review, Evergreen Review, Wisconsin Review, elimae, Word Riot and elsewhere.

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