The nothing

Over my shoulder
     the shadow eyes watch
In the tiny hairs of my ears
     the shadow voices whisper

I do the crossword
     The shadow helps
     slyly suggesting words
I look out the window at the rain
     The shadow says
     It comes
     It goes
I regard the mirrored mouth
     The shadow asks
     Who’s that?
I tap my feet
     The shadow says
     Wanna dance?

When the shadow speaks
     there’s a pulling.
An in-breath.
     Drawing, searching gravity.

There’s also
     a pausing.
An out-breath.
     A sweeping. A clearing.

At the mention of solitude
the shadow mouth
     turns up its corners
and the shadow eyes

The shadow is not
     an other
Not a space
     holding a place for an other

It’s wu:
the nothing.
     The vastness
where lips
     the ten thousand things
     that constitute the universe
and return.

In the void
     of the shadow soul
     the breathing-in
draws them forth.

In the vastness
     of the shadow mind
     the breathing-out
sweeps them back.

As the ten thousand things
     arise and return
     the nothing
     the shadow mind

whispering loneliness
breathing solitude

sits on its barstool
watching them all