John W. Sexton (Ireland)
He Works in the Shadow Factory
He works in the shadow factory, turning the valves of the enormous tank. He watches the negative tons of raw shadow through the safety of a porthole.
On the way to the works canteen he passes the assembly-line. Thousands of aerosols full of shadow rattle along the conveyor belt.
It is the middle of summer, the factory’s busiest time. The aerosols are stamped with the warning: FOR DAYTIME USE ONLY
From the canteen window he sees trucks leaving the factory gates. As he glances at his newspaper he notes the latest public concern.
A spokesman for the factory is quoted in the paper. The spokesman says that shadows occur routinely in nature: “Even a newborn baby has a shadow.”
After work he places his overalls into the mouth of an incinerator; before leaving the building he washes in the communal shower.
He works in the shadow factory, turning the valves of the enormous tank. At night he sleeps with the light on, all the shadows of the room in their rightful place.
from the collection Vortex