The Ghost and The Moon

I dreamt of a ghost beyond my window, 
Standing at the edge of my yard,
Translucent below the marble moon.

She stood erect beneath the formidable night sky.
With an upward tilt of her head, hair grazing her waist,
She stared the bald moon back with her vehement gaze.
When I opened my own eyes, I was under the sky.
Color in my cheeks and blood in my veins,
Dewy-grass feet firmly in the dirt.

And so I walked inside to dream of a blank sky. 
Not unlike the blackboards the morning of Sunday school:
Washed clean, ready and inviting.




For so many weeks, months, I felt haunted. Everywhere I went, every experience, was a reminder of what had happened. That I was not who I used to be and I was not who I wanted to be. That I had made mistakes and simply did not measure up. I was empty.

I don’t know exactly when it happened or how it happened, but I felt life breathed back into me, or maybe I breathed it into myself. Perhaps it was simply that enough time had passed. (And perhaps I had just written enough poems).

It is funny how simple things can represent complete opposites depending on the experiences occupying our headspace. The moon, for example, represented something that I felt saw right through me, something that followed me no matter where I went. It was watching me and I could not escape it. Now I am again able to look at it with a sense of wonder.

It is simply the moon and it is beautiful.

The Fall

Golden flame leaves against piercing blue sky

Through the window I stare

From my bed.

I label colors, objects.

I label with language. Language which has no emotion.

I stare through my window for hours

As lifetimes pass me by.

157,680,000 seconds

or minutes?

Through my veiling shroud I cannot read the clock or feel the weather that would hit my face if I mustered strength enough to throw open the window as I would’ve done six months ago.

(Thrown open the window to feel the

joy of sunshine, the jubilation of wind

on cool skin, the serene content of

sapphire sky.)

I lay still.

I label.

tree

yellow

sun

sky

My language has no emotion. My language has no actions.

My words have shapes, but I cannot touch them.

They have textures that I cannot feel.

(I recall a time when yellow sun

took the form of arms wrapping

around skin. The texture is joy,

belonging, hope, content.)

My language is words is perception as seen through a screen

through a screen

through a screen

Muted distortion.

Though just yesterday my sorrowful thoughts jabbed a dozen dull needles into my stomach.

Jab is action.

Sorrowful is emotion.

Today

bed

blanket

window

branch

twig

roof

gutter


I don’t know if I ever experienced a day lived absently looking through my window like a few of the days I lived this fall. I am a couple months past these days now. I wrote this looking back on the most poignant day, the height of the worst you could say. If you have these days now, I feel you.

If Someone Asked If You Had Felt Loved by Me, Would You Say No?

The words they warmed me.
As they rolled off my tongue
I swallowed them whole.
A mug of hot tea in my belly.

My love for you was honesty.
To care enough to share what bothers,
Was to want you here
With me. You and me.

My love for you was time.
A day spent sewing a pillow.
Learning with careful practice,
Then setting with tender design.

My love for you was in the details of the stitches.
Holding the edges together,
Keeping the stuffing in place.
But maybe you didn’t need stitches.

Maybe you needed duct tape – fluorescent.
To be placed exactly where you told me.
And no last minute alterations.
But if altered by you…. It’s O-KAY. Okay?

Okay.

Maybe my love was as you said
My emotions were – kept to myself.
A secret book of poems that
I DON’T SHARE with anyone.

I shared just one with you.
I should’ve published a book of poems.
Maybe then you would’ve felt
My love for you.

My love for you was not a bomb.
Exploding in hot frenzy.
It wasn’t a cyclone, squall, or windstorm
With seconds-only notice.

My love is a warm
Drip
Drip
Drip Drip
D R I Z Z L E
SWOOOOSHHHH
That leaves you drenched in mid-July
Did I accidentally give you an umbrella?

Maybe you did feel loved by me
But denied it with contempt.
Masked guilt of having prematurely thrown me
Into your hurricane.

 


The bitterness I was feeling as I wrote this cannot be masked. It amazes me how when I sit down to write one thing, it feels as if it has a mind of its own. What started as melancholy began to ooze resentment. When I think of my last relationship, at times I feel my stomach turn. For a while I believed my ex lacked the self-awareness he needed to control himself and to recognize what was happening. As time passes, my view of him has yet to soften as it has with other ended relationships. Everything now feels intentional, vindictive, and dark. Other times I think I must be crazy for thinking this way, as if I am the one lacking the necessary level of self-awareness. There were times he was so full of kind gestures and actions, it’s hard to reconcile my opposing views of the same person. I’m still trying to work through it and make sense of it. Writing has been the most helpful form of therapy I have yet to find.