by Theodora Goss
One day I noticed that I was standing on nothing at all,
not a floor of wide pine boards fixed down with iron nails,
not a forest floor with last year’s litter of oak leaves,
not a meadow of grasses that would scratch my ankles,
dotted with cornflowers, poppies, and Queen Anne’s lace.
Not even a concrete sidewalk on which puddles
from yesterday’s rains reflected the gray sky.
Beneath me was only darkness.
Like a night without moon or stars,
like a black pigment that absorbs light,
like an empty well without walls or discernible bottom
into which I could fall without making a sound.
I was so afraid that I could not step forward
or backward. I could not walk
in any direction. For a while
I stood there, not knowing what to do
with myself. And then
I started to dance.
(The image is Evening by Gabriel Ferrier.)