Two Poems by Leah Mueller

Half of You

When you meet your shadow,
be sure to be friendly.

Make certain your shadow is comfortable.
Ask who it loves and who it hates.

You already know the answers,
but it will twist the narrative
and make up a bogus story.
You will believe the story.

Spend some time in bed with your shadow.

You will want to know how
it presses against your exposed skin,
how it looks when it can’t see itself.

In the morning, eat breakfast together.

Observe the shadow
in its bathrobe beside the sink,
backside safely covered.

Ignore the rings under your eyes,
and your half-eaten body.
The shadow has grown
to twice its normal size.

Listen to the shadow
when it launches its narrative.

Most will be repeats
of stories you’ve heard 100 times.
You will nod with agreement.
Its stories are yours, as well.

You will run into the shadow
in the strangest places:

walking towards you on the sidewalk
at a brisk pace, colliding
and claiming it was an accident,

or beside you, on the mattress,
inhaling the same air. Observe
its shallow breath, deepening
as the shadow grows closer to sleep.

You will want to leave the shadow.
It will cling, moss-like,
to your neck and shoulders,
its flavor inside your bloodstream.

After you have told the shadow everything
it will make its home in your body.
You will give it plenty of room.

Now the shadow is yours to keep.
You will forget everything you know
and move backwards into fugue.

 

Afterglow

I sat in my pajamas
all morning

because I could still
smell you on my skin folds
from two thousand miles.

At noon, I stood
under the shower head,

rubbed the lather
into my pores
until you were gone.

I watched the swirl of water,
its underground return
as foam dissolved
from liquified onslaught—

the bubbles like ours,
only smaller.

—About the Author—

Leah Mueller is the author of two chapbooks and four books. Her latest book, Bastard of a Poet was published by Alien Buddha Press in June 2018.  Her work appears in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Drunk Monkeys, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, and other publications.

—About the Featured Image—

“To Another Sun” by Fabrice Poussin.

Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.