Behind My Eyes by Li-Young Lee

The following is a poem from Behind My Eyes (Norton, 2008) by Li-Young Lee. To listen to the author reading from
his work, click here.

In His Own Shadow

He is seated in the first darkness
of his body sitting in the lighter dark
of the room,

the greater light of day behind him,
beyond the windows, where
Time is the country.

His body throws two shadows:
One onto the table
and the piece of paper before him,
and one onto his mind.

One makes it difficult for him to see
the words he's written and crossed out
on the paper. The other
keeps him from recognizing
another master than Death. He squints.
He reads: Does the first light hide
inside the first dark?

He reads: While all bodies share
the same fate, all voices do not


Reprinted from Behind My Eyes by Li-Young Lee. Copyright © 2008 by Li-Young Lee. With the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.