Weight of Absence

Paul takes off his shadow
and places it on the bathroom scale.

He takes the shadow off a tree
and weighs it as well.

And then a plane’s shadow
as it passes underfoot.

The bathroom scale’s needle does not move.
Or is it the circular numbers do not move?

He postulates he could fly
if he put the airplane’s shadow on his body.

He hypothesizes he could eat sunlight
if he adopted the tree’s shadow.

He tests neither of these theories
and returns his own shadow to his shoulders

so he might wear a Magritte style bowler
without feeling strange.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

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