What is the difference between fog and cloud, vision and ectoplasm? I lean into vapor, into you,planchette straining to letters of your name.I am candleflame, spark and flicker, votive.You are ghost, opalescent and translucent.Hovering mist. Virga.I see you in winter breath, steam rising like a promise from my cup.I carryContinue Reading

His steel katanaCleaves its wayThrough air swiftlyLike a dragonflyThrough would-beThieves and killersWith their lustfulEyes set on aSingle woman in aCrimson silk kimonoCarnation-pink sashAround her waistAlone and defencelessBut primarily onHer ribboned purseFull of ryo— A stillborn crime—A bright streamOf loosened blood—A scattered messOf dead fools—The lone samuraiOn horsebackRides off, hoofbeatsKicking upContinue Reading

Straw-bodiedCorpseAlarminglyRed-headed, sporting his Rockabilly pompadour;Effigy gangly-toothed,Cropped, andRickety after the manner of Rumpelstiltskin:Overalls ransacked from the ragbag by ramshackle moonlight,Warding away zombie-feathered crows.Continue Reading

Ghosts point their cold fingersdown from the roof–long narrow prisms holding lightthen gone.The sununderstands their chilly spirit–encourages them to dance–then with a quick tempo–drip drip crack–a strong spring breathfrees them from their perchlike a maestro’s batoncounting a beat.Continue Reading

They said in ancient Greece and Rome and suchlocales—and maybe everywhere, I guess—that household gods—say, ancestors’—would lookupon us in the home, as from an urnwith ashes in it on a mantelpiece—or even absent ashes or the vase. But I have my Italian grandfather’sold grooming scissors, made when things would last,andContinue Reading

And miles of ghosts beneath our sleep.—Philip Metres, Song for Refugees Beneath our sleep we juggle goldand crimson fruit of cackling djinnstwirling insouciant fingers bold. Beneath our sleep we flounder, spinin roils of black and endless waveswhere circling monsters lurk within. Beneath our sleep, stumbling in cavesof blackened tunnels, massedContinue Reading

Lawrence Raab said sleepis a way to stave off death. Maybe that’s what I’m doingon these long mornings when the dawn light tries to creepbeneath my blackout curtains. Last night’s tears leavingmy skin starched and stiff and photos of you the first thingsthat appear when I unlock my phone. MyContinue Reading

In the moonlit shadows, I met a specter, A spirit from realms beyond, a ghost, a reflector. With whispers and echoes, a call from the past, A spectral interview, an encounter vast. In the haunted hollows, where memories lie, I summoned the apparition, beneath the midnight sky. A wisp ofContinue Reading

A crust of moon slicesthe dawn, clouds furrowingfirst lavender then peachbefore robin’s egg blue perchesthe horizon. My futurehangs in the balance, strangersnibbling my profile, uninterestedin living, only in scrollingthrough yesterday’s choices.Sun brightens, gulpswhat’s left of night,and I abandon the bed, mourningsleep. My cousin lingerspartly in the Gulf Stream, partlyin Ohio’sContinue Reading

Of course it was nearly dark, of course the music stopped abruptly so that the only sound was the pop-and-tick of tires over the gravel driveway, of course the headlights picked up and threw uncanny shadows against the house as Jim and Mona pulled up in the moving truck. TheyContinue Reading