After School Prey

Rabbits and voles whip
across a city sidewalk. Still,
the leaves don’t fall.

I can almost feel the heat
of your tobacco-flavored breath
against my cheek

as you whisper ghostly
nothings in my ear. Still,
the leaves don’t fall.


She’s ready to declare:
I believe

in ghosts. She’s ready
to admit:
I believe in ghosts

so I might encounter you
in the hallway of that haunted
old school building.

If everything could be repurposed,
she’d like to be slate
under your chalk next.

Guardian Angel Dust to Dust

I enter the quiet
life through a seam
in this wall. First time I heard

your voice was a homecoming. Tell me
if ghosts speak. With a pronounced
accent? Is the language

of flowers reserved for them
the way I’ve reserved myself

for what’s left
of you? Memory is seamless.

Air Mail Through an Open Window

If I die tonight, will we
become lovers by tomorrow
evening? Civil twilight to entwine
two severed spirits. Counting
finally done. To drink or not, new
wine or old—it won’t matter. That age gap
sewn up once and for all. If
I make it till morning, I will continue
to keep a record
of what might have been.

From West 15th

In rain and close
air, the empty park haunts
her view of what could
have been. More solitude
than romance, determination
not despair, yet this damp
quietude distorts all patterns. Subdued
till a lone man trots along
the southern path. A leather jacket
will need peeling
in sudden heat. And still
she can’t see where ghosts go
to sweat it out.

in medias res redux

Don’t cut your hair, pull a cap
over the lengthening. Invoke
one ghost and two 

other legends still kicking
around what haunts them
at night when stairs are steep, 

a cellar two stories deep. Narrative
or none, consistent not
likely, they do what they want. I 

see you do too and so much younger. You
may catch up to the age 

of your soul, but not yet.

Would Be Roadkill

Either these falls are shrinking
or this river’s high.
Traffic stops 

for you when you no longer trust. You’re walking
across blind
spots, a stone embankment and swerve 

to tease the dead. You have predicted
you would join those left-handed ghosts
when the right of way 

becomes cursed, your body,
upon impact 

a weightless parcel 

through early spring
air. It’s always an April day
just a half hour before 

in dimming lights dancing off
city streets so many miles before 

the skyline disintegrates
into a watery horizon. It’s guess work,
and it’s hard to know when it will crest.