I became a shadow instead of a girl,
became the amulet for the thing,
instead of the thing itself.
You cast me from a real body,
made me a commemoration
to your good taste, a flat little prize.
You made three parts of one:
the touched muscles, their demand
for tautness; representations of skin,
hair, full lips for biting. None of these
were as important as my supine
black shadow that you cut,
seam for seam, away from what used to be
my body. I became Shadow Black
and my new blurred edges salted
away from skin, fixed layers pulling like dust,
I was no longer a material figure,
just a scrim, easier to digest.
It’s not an accident that a shadow fits
neatly underneath a shoe heel.
It’s not by chance that you can pass
right through me.
Naima Woods is a writer and educator living and working in the countryside of Southern New Mexico. She is currently pursing her MFA at New Mexico State University. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a Tent Residency fellow. Her chapbook, MAKE WITNESS, was published by Zoo Cake Press in 2015. New work can be read in Nepantla, Blackberry: a magazine, Broad, Specter Magazine, Bone Bouquet, Glint Magazine and elsewhere.