Caught here in your limestone cave,
lost in a limbo of slow water torture,
for you, each day is always night.
Condemned to circle contours of a god’s
state of mind, all pale swimmers
in this light are a deck of cards
shuffled by a pro. I back away
& you come forth like falling
leaves, & when I come closer,
you ease away. How do you see
into darkness? I wonder if you know
the shape of gone, of never been born.

From Night Animals (Sarabande Books, 2020) by Yusef Komunyakaa; illustrated by Rachel Bliss. Copyright © 2020 by Yusef Komunyakaa. Used with permission of the poet.