When I wake
your ghost is sitting
on the bedroom window sill.
The one the dog chewed through
that we never got around to fixing.
She plucks teeth marks with pale fingers,
glancing through the corners of eyes
pretending not to follow my movements.
She watches me rise,
and I resist the urge to tell her to look away
as I slip into robe and socks.
The last time I asked her to make me some coffee,
her face blackened to sorrow before she faded away.
I do not ask her for anything anymore.
Your ghost does not frighten me.
I am not the least bit startled when I see her
passing me in the hall,
drinking from the carton,
laying on the couch in the dim of morning.
I catch her staring a little too long,
stainless gray iris reflecting my face.
Unconditional patience woven
into the tangle of veins in the length of her reach,
wanting nothing more than the
contentment of touch.
She does not glare at the Spanish moss
webbed from regrets that hang
along my limbs.
She does not acknowledge
the crust of contrition
I have manifested inside
the lines of my face.
She sees me precious, unsullied,
as she promised she always would.
As an act of atonement,
an apology for my life after your death,
an attempt to weave back into you,
I’ve wrapped your ghost
around my body like loose ribbons,
to recreate your arms snaked around me,
to feel your exhale on the crook of my neck,
to taste the pulp of your skin with the plum of lip,
wanting nothing more
than the contentment
“Your Ghost” is previously published in The Fall of a Sparrow (2014).