Double Shadow

The bricklayer of twilight

is busy, laying down the colors

at right angles, the moments

as big as ultimatums.

There is a catch, when

the night resolves to allow

another reluctant embrace

before rattling off

everybody’s names.

The two-way glass slowly

transitions from flat oxygen

to mirror,

gatekeeper of contrasts.

I am looking at my own

eyes now after

the pothole-riddled street,

becoming pashmina patterns

cast across buffed wood,

bleached regret,

sorrow in a paper cup

with a plastic lid.


Iris Orpi is a Filipina poet, novelist, and screenwriter living in Chicago, IL. She is the author of four books of compiled poems, including Hand Painted and Rampant and Golden. Her work has appeared in over two dozen online and print publications all over Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa. She was an 2014 Honorable Mention for the Contemporary American Poetry Prize, given annually by Chicago Poetry Press.