Alter Ego

I am an accomplice in crime.
I never act alone.

Like Alice, I watch helplessly
as my figure expands and recedes:
I spring up like a ball or jack-in-the-box,
then shrink like a violet.

Inconspicuous as a sleeve,
handmaiden, or butler,
at your command,
I genuflect, salute.

Though I leave no trace,
I watch your every move.

I am quiet as death,
yet my telltale presence signals yours.
Your shape is a prism to mine.

Though I am the rainbow’s polar opposite,
like distant cousins, we both
point to the same source.

You draw me out like a Slinky.

Always the bridesmaid,
never the bride,
when I am absent, the world appears flat.

Immaterial and weightless,
I am sidekick and sideshow rolled into one.

Shapeshifter, I billow like a sail
in the slightest breeze.
Then, at noon, when my feet come to a standstill,
I rest until the sun moves me to rise.

Darkness, my getaway car.

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