I forget
to say good-bye
to the bridge
before I cross it.

My silence
becomes the silence
in a field after a cattail fire
finally dies out.

Your eyes
tell me
to do it.

I trade rough
air for rough
water and swim
where I used to drown

before you
and those dangerous eyes.

I erase the horizon
with a cloth
covered in blood—

could be a fermented
raspberry smoothie
that exploded
in my hand.

I spit out
the wine
before it spits
out me.

Just in time
to hear the last minute
of “Night Fever,”

I want to walk one more block
beneath an elevated subway line
in a white dress
and platform shoes.

I want to dance alone
to the end

of a pier you and I saw
but were too afraid
to approach.

I won’t turn my back
on the waterfront,
or pretend
to be a contender.

What are we going to do
when Robert DeNiro is gone,
when the children have never heard of
Greta Garbo or Marlon Brando?

What’s that trick
when the artist draws
an entire world on a stucco wall
without lifting his brush?

Why is it a crime
to run a sentence
the full length of the sky,
but not a pencil line?

Color forgives
the wave its naked trespasses
in the dark.

The wide black vinyl belt
slips down too far now—
I hold my breath
against the eye doctor’s orders.

Because I could never ghost
anyone, especially you, or him, or him,
even if you invented the method,
used it on me more than once.

I don’t know what to say
about stalkers except

I hope they all get lockjaw
and spend eternity
in the Rust Belt.

My neck hurts
not from looking in both directions,
but from spinning my head
360 degrees like a good spinster.

Or solo musician who unscrews his,
places it in the passenger seat
so he has someone to talk to
on the lonely road.

It isn’t really funny,
but we laugh anyway
because he has those crazed eyes
and desire to see modern dance moves

in the elbow
of the man who stands
behind me.

All the widowed words
hesitate to walk into a bar.
No one wants to go first,
to be so alone again.

Greta Garbo would have
pushed one
inside the swinging door

just to watch the expression
it makes before falling
into place.

I might change my name
to tetanus
to honor all those ghosts,
I mean stalkers.

I mean who’s to say
it won’t end tomorrow,
or tonight, if the sky clears.

I believe every day
should be a Wednesday
night in the Flats.

When I find no stage
or maligned river,
I go searching for them
inside my wrecked heart.

He saw the scar you left,
licked it before I bit his cheek.
We laughed till the sun rose
in another Rust Belt city.

Ruined for this life, I hear
a solitude whisper to me
in an afterhours glow.

I lie in the middle
of an empty, one-way street
I love beyond reason
without a fear.

2 thoughts on “Ghosting

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