1. a shape-shifter
2. one who sees through the eyes of another
Wandering down the sidewalk, they become a figure in the window of a lonely-looking house, that stray cat darting into an alleyway, the tired old woman at the crosswalk.
Waiting at the corner, they become the bus driver with heavy eyes, the boy lost in his own world, the man who stops to tie his shoes between a flowering tree and a fire hydrant.
They begin to lose track of themselves—a familiar feeling—leaving something behind with every figure that they pass. The lines between their silhouette and the shadows around them begin to blur, as if they are melting into a subconscious in-between. They feel, with a slight ache, as if they are trying to become the world.
The sun’s downward motion makes them feel as if they can sense the earth turning deep beneath their feet, feel time slipping away like the water in the city fountain, cold between their fingers. A story they never had a chance to read is fading before their eyes, blank pages waiting to be filled with the handwriting of a new day.
They wish to see through a million different eyes, to understand the stories. They hold the feeling, the longing, in the tightness of their hearts. As far as they know, that place has always been there—a never-quite-satisfied desire to know.
Their fingers ache to explain it, and they reach for something to capture the moment. What they need is… is a letter to everything that they long to understand.
The sense of desperation fades as something clearer takes its place, and the lines of their shadow grow a little clearer. They feel a quiet transformation preparing to begin. They have been here before, leaned suddenly against a wall or hunched over the nearest table, unable to ignore the urgency of the words within them. They will be here again, maybe tomorrow, or in a week, when something wide and unexplainable in the universe leaves them no choice.
For now, they sink into the moment, not even noticing that the sunlight has faded into darkness.
Eyes wide open,
heavy with anticipation,
ready to weave soul into word,