Shade: Poem


By Winnie Dunn:


It echoes, the azure of the walls.

It echoes the soft, muffled ticks of mechanical hands.

The plaster does not let it through entirely,

And that is sometimes why it is quiet

But even then it whispers all the same.

Blue you feel on the hill of your shoulder, and depending on the shade

It will slant upwards from the elbow like the caress

Of a hidden lover, or waveringly trickle

Into the shoulders from the collarbone and,

I have not decided which one I prefer.

If it is shoulders,

It is also the immensity of nine in its true curve.

It is the slain    sigh of a circle.

It trembles from the mirror of lapis lazuli eyes,

A pair of night sky.

The things that are almost certainly above you,

If not for the ceiling.

I’m wondering…if you heard that tick as well as I…

That incredibly loud one…

Never mind, it is creeping again.

The paper-thin walls enclose in its chattering rhythm,

Stealing you.

You the inky shadow,

For itself.

It takes you, even with all your falsity of a windowpane,

Leaving you only in the reality of glass.

If desired.

Look out.

Blue was once the damp, crushed sand

That allowed its wings to be burnt at such a temperature where its pain,

stood still and reflective.

Blue is the curved nine because it understands,


The words in which your ink smudges with the love of a far away sky,

The exact down that is so close to you now.

There is your bed,

over the horizon,

suspended in air

Not the same as yours.

I’m sure you heard the tick that time.

Out in the crystal land of the king’s jewels,

Where Nabokov tastes the shade,

On the side of his tongue.

Three trumpets on a mountain,

right at the peak,

prescribed this long ago,

as if inevitably part

of that damned sky.

At least the walls are the same.

My dear, would it bother you to tell me the time?




IMAGE: Kim Seng

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