Posted tagged ‘when the ghosts come poem’


October 22, 2014



They visit me
when my skin feasts
on yours.

It’s become a ritual,
a habitual trick of the brain; some might call it
a glitch.

It’s as if the brain
had two hands,
but endless smoke and mirrors,
and no matter how I pick the grasp
I’m sure this time is right,
I’m left with wrong,
the wrong being
that they are gone. 

Their hair looks beautiful–so much more body
than mine–lifting off a rueful forehead–
and the flowers that draped the coffin of the one
who was buried
could not be more real, the glow of the gladioli softer
than the hue of pearls,
the green baize a flat glisten veiling
the ochre of riven clay.

You hold me
close as it gets, but they close in
in an instant and I say, “please,”
and they say, “please,” and the problem
is that we each still want
to please each other;
we were that kind of people–

but all pleasure is sacrificed–our pleasure
was sacrifice–we were, you see,
mothers, daughters, wives–

and though you hold me still,
close as it gets,
still I weep for them, one of me,
who doesn’t get to have you, their you,
still holding them;
so the brain instead grasps tightly
with both hands,
though the brain doesn’t actually


Very much of a draft poem for Grapeling’s prompt on With Real Toads to write a ghost story based on a list of words. 

 (Yes, I’m not sure about the enjambement at the end or throughout.)