It’s Never a Ghost
It’s just the trees swaying to the breeze,
The confetti of their leaves falling.
It’s someone walking home, counting steps
So he doesn’t fall asleep, starting again
At every hundredth step, at every
Streetlight he passes. It’s just the glow
Of a cat’s eyes, it’s surprised at the length
of your shadow. It’s just two dogs
Looking for a suitable place to mate.
It’s never a ghost; it’s nothing spiritual.
Everything seems sacred at this time,
Everything has a leg. Everything’s walking.
I wanted the greed to slice me like the need
sheaving through my belly, this brilliant scythe
edges twice-sharpened, glinting, ricocheting
the angry rays of the afternoon sun. I thought
I was the mice scuttling through the room,
hoping to make it to the hole in the wall.
On second thought, there was no hole in the wall.
At one moment I thought I would bleed
through all the orifices of my body;
I thought I had already started bleeding,
dark red spots blooming on my purple shirt,
spots that, when I bent my head, patterned
the ominous brown of the paneled floor.
To be a lynx in her own thicket
was what I wanted. To be a raven
perching from tree to tree was what I wanted.
I opened my mouth and screamed but nothing
poured forth. Had I lost my hearing?
I struck my head on the concrete wall,
hoping to open the orb of my skull
but there was no wall. Can you imagine
the whole room was dark but all I saw
was this continuously burning light,
that I believed I slept with multitudes
when I was alone in the room all night long?
Too late for coffee. Too cold for linen.
There was rain. Now a teal light in the sky.
Lacerta has crawled out of her tree.
The dog downstairs will not stop crying.
Nostalgia has lain her head in the clouds —
I can't stop thinking about the years I spent
Away from my family and not cry.
I hide my face from the window, burying
It in the damask of the curtain;
When I'm done, I blow my nose into it.
I'm writing a letter no one will read
Because, after writing it, I will burn it.