Shadow-feast is a chronicle of dying—the awareness, denial, pain, and hope surrounding incurable illness, as well as the aftermath of grief as told from three points of view: Hers, His, and Theirs (the couple). The collection as a whole is a Kage-zen, or Shadow-feast, a traditional Japanese meal offered to the dead. However, here it is set out not for an absent beloved, but for the reader.
BREATH THEY COULDN’T catch, motion that fell
as a run of shadow on their window
folded into one wish. Time—what was that—
flung over mountains where sun could blink and waver it off.
Clouds muscled in to not let them see the bald sky lying.
The knife-cold privacy exposed a man, and from his window
no motion, just New England birch, stripped limbs in late light.