I saw my ancestor making omelets
from leftover bits of shadow. I stood up
to give a standing ovation to each now fluffy morsel
of dark. Then I stayed
standing, ovationing every shadow,
including the ancestor’s, the houseplant’s,
& mine. When I was done, I had a question. Ancestor, I said,
am I in a sense your
shadow, or are you somehow mine?
& my ancestor said, Sure. & went about
plating the omelets with immense confidence,
though obviously did not know
which was my preferred plate
for omelets. It was then I realized that perhaps
I hadn’t given a standing ovation.
Could one person do such a thing?
Or was it only non-seated
clapping? I wanted to ask my ancestor that, but
having sat down by this point,
it was time to eat.
CHEN CHEN is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Futher Possibilities. He teaches creative writing at Brandeis University.