Ghost

In August I have a few things being released (I’ll keep you all posted!) but I figured I’d post the beginnings of another poetry collection I’ve been swimming within.

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Ghost

My sister and I believed our grandfather

sat at the edge of our beds during the night

 

We told our grandmother this

although we could tell she thought we were lying

 

And we were.

It’s hard to remember which sister began to believe the lie first

which one of us saw him,

months after our proclamation

at the foot of our twin bed, face lavender white, silent, hand against our knee,

watching us the way a father would watch his children

Every night, excited for the lights to go out

and realize we were not alone

 

The night you died I crawled into bed

hoping Frankie and I were still so young

we could tell a lie into existence

and together we could claim we awoke to face our father

sitting at the edge of the blankets

body milky water, rain on skin,

and suddenly,

there you’d be

 

My grandfather died before I was born.

We never met him

but we could tell we missed something important

his face everywhere in the house he built in pieces

gaps left unfilled, grout-less after death

our mother, aunts, grandmother told us stories and yet

we grew paranoid we’d never hear

the full history,

they all knew something we didn’t

 

So it was easy to claim that

after dark, we two

called our grandfather back towards creation

through our desire to love

what the women we loved

loved

 

As if,

we could never fully belong in their world

without him

For the Sake of It

When I was little and my dad found his way home: mange-ridden dog fur clumps dangling from scabby skin—I stuck notes in his wallet. Often there was nothing else—no I.D. not even a penny. Our secret: a small piece of paper left to be discovered on the day he, inevitably, died. Frozen on an alley staircase, bones hissing as they lifted him onto the stretcher: if found, please call 303.733.1758. people loved me here

It grew so terrible. My fear of the phone.

Crawl into a cave. make claws of your hands. What is it you would write without light? All around us we are left with the leavings of those destroyed. They say Neanderthals did not survive because of the brutality of their loneliness. And yet, all alone, swimming in the embryonic caverns of an earth more obviously seizing. compelled to carve abstractions into Dolomite.

24,000 years ago, a time so distant it enfolds me to infinity, a race driven to sea and left to die alone. not even the light of moon over ocean and yet here is the stone and here is the hand in the dark. There is no one left to see me and yet, you see, here I live. Who is it that can say they did not leave us art? 

I’ve taken to writing notes in my books. Dear Aliens. If you find this in the heat rash and devastation we’ve left in our wake. believe me. despite all evidence. we were good. please forgive us.  people loved us here.
 

To Say I Love You

we are sisters that believe loving is to have stood too close to a black hole. We’ve happened upon a dying star. To say I love you it is to say, I can’t see myself anymore.

for us: to say I love you is to look at a place even light cannot survive. gravity so strong a slippery veil of photons and electromagnetic waves—moving faster than our eyes can see—cannot escape

but our human minds are limited. what do we know of black holes—something defined by its negative space? Some believe it is from this vacancy our universe was born

We have only theories. when you enter a black hole, can you ever leave? is it destruction or reconstruction or are they the same? matter reconfigured, ordered differently but inevitably, impossible to destroy?

Dreams

I came across a little boy standing in a courtyard while the sun transformed his hair crow black. light rebounded. I walked towards this child embossed in plumes of murky light, still amongst green. My arm lifted and bore a hammer down upon his skull. without pause for his little frame, felled to earth so quick, I nodded to his mother and left

if only it were so easy to pull these waking thoughts from their hole as to drift from the damage of a dream. as if they were flesh I could peel from the nape of my neck, against my chin, lift this skull

if only the mind were skin