Each evening our shadows escape,
the sun lowers, and they steal
away under the cover of night.
I have seen mine
in those last moments, elongated,
trailing along behind me.
Then I turn around,
and he is gone. He unfastened
the Velcro that connects us
hands and feet, and slipped
off down the street.
I came upon them,
one midnight walk in South Beach.
Leaving the world of neon
and pastel hotels behind me—
I stepped off the bike path,
my feet sinking in white sand,
and saw them all congregated
with their own kind.
They pretended to be us
as they walked along the beach.
Two sat on the steps
of the lifeguard shack smoking,
and I saw shadows bobbing
like corks in the ocean.
I walked towards the waters edge,
and felt myself fading
as I slowly became one of them.

♦ This poem has been nominated by Mississippi Crow Magazine for the PushCart Prize for 2008.