The wrinkles in the towel,
the way the sun throws shadows
into the folds of the fabric,
they form a face, a young woman smiles shyly,
her left cheek emblazoned in light,
so real that even when the towel is gone,
she is still there

I see her everywhere now, in stone and wood,
in dense tree canopies, upon the lake’s ripples,
(though less so in clouds)

The ground of all that is,
is the tracing of her

She is implicit in every niche,
I sense her with every breath

Perhaps she is the dark void behind me
that I can now trust

Or the blinding not knowing before me
I await

Adoration at first sight,
the scent of bougainvillea
releases when trampled underfoot
by the garden’s dancers

She appears in twilight
when daylight fines to mist,
stark, aglow amid flowery vines
she gracefully – playfully – performs her plié

I am but imagined myself, a pile of folds
in sunlight disguised, shadows configured
to confound, to conjure sentient impression,
so real that even when I am gone,
she is still here

Chagall 2019