Tapped free

by Deirdre Kessler

In the 8th century, Nilalai Pidippan, a disciple of a saint
named Tirumangai Alwar, was said to have been able
to stop people from moving by tapping on their shadows.

A shadow’s shrug
is airier than yours,
its hatred, for example,
pure gesture: emotion, thought,

history distilled out,
or sieved fine as dust,
neutrinos going around the world,
through the world,
simply for the fun of it,
speeding,
unimpeded,
easy as pie,
a hot knife through butter.

A shadow
locked in an Argentine tango
with your desire
is tapped by an invisible monk, freed

to copulate with snow angels.
Offspring
the ephemeral blue
inside ice caverns
or underneath
butterfly wings.