yes, it’s true! another post so soon after the last one!

To share some of Michael Ondaatje’s brilliant, mellifluous prose:

“Who is she? This woman who has led him into this medicine cabinet of a room where most of her possessions exist – books, journals, passport, a carefully folded map, archival tapes, even the soap she has brought with her from her other world. As if this orderly collection of things is what she is. So we fall in love with ghosts.”
Divisadero

Which makes me think of one of my poems, written many years ago for a friend when he was contemplating if he should emerge from his hermitage. But it’s really for anyone who has felt isolated or alone, whether self-imposed or not, and is considering how and why they should re-emerge.

to a ghost

find your flesh again
bits & pieces wait
in creases of books
stretch over
empty canvases
glow dimly in light fixtures
sit motionless
on edge of kitchen sink
collect them all slowly
locate spaces where they
belong on your bones

bring water to your mouth
muscles work to swallow

step back
now
with your skin
back in its place
where it had not
been before

stand in your flesh again
and breathe
use it to make contact
touch the ground
with bare feet
run your fingertips
along smooth & quiet
branches of a city tree
angle your mouth
around curve of a pen

feel heat move through you
warming you in your renewed skin
your flesh that has been draped
over benches
left empty
in misshapen pile
on your bed
where you sloughed it off
in your sleep

find your flesh again

greet me covered with it

let us stand together
each with skin
harboring our ghosts

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Julie says:

    I stumbled across your blog and instantly my brain went ! when I saw the quote you posted from Divisadero. It’s one of my all time favorite passages from a novel-so much so that I have ‘So we fall in love with ghosts.’ tattooed on me.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that your poem is incredible and I’ve had the last three lines running through my mind since I’ve read it, as I often think about people as ghosts and the ways in which we haunt each other.

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