Penumbra

1 a space of partial illumination (as in an eclipse) between the perfect shadow on all sides and the full light  

2 a surrounding or adjoining region in which something exists in a lesser degree: fringe

maybe we had been talking about this a long time, the sky growing grey and still, the windows turning to glassy stares

maybe we sat at the wooden table by the window a long time, the river freezing over inch by inch, snow piling on its banks and in its waters

maybe the line is just one unit of measurement and not the absolute – as a painter and a poet we might never know

maybe the stone bridge is a metaphor of crossing, our passage through, and from one life to the next

maybe it’s a metaphor for holding hands, banks linked, differences retained but bridged

maybe the edges of our vision, the edges of the allowable and the unseen, are a habitable country and the natives are friendlier than we suspect

maybe our thoughts are like magnets, invisible agents working double-time in the oceans of the night

maybe we will make small notations in the margins and these will become the whole story or song

maybe there are spaces that link the things between that are more important than the perfect shadow and the full light

maybe the round edges of our bodies signify a borderland, a general area and not a hard boundary, a place of exploration and entry

maybe nothing is definitive

maybe you would hold my hand

 

by Maxima Kahn, first published in The Nevada County Poetry Series Anthology

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