--- likes the light although she vanishes
within the barest hint of it.
silverware on a long table
reminds me of the way
my mother fieldstripped her guns. the little fork
next to the littler fork. the order of springs. etc.
afternoon interrogates the mountains,
routinely: the long tooth of the sun gnawing
through the windows. outside
stubble on the hillface. light harshes
everything, which explains so much.
the ghosts doing
whatever it is they do during the day.
when i am in love i wish i were dead.
you know what i mean, don't you ---
--- hurts. it's hard to be intimate
with something that passes
through everything. all of love
stalks the sky on its long giraffe legs
with its long giraffe neck
and its alligator jaw.
when i have sex with my ghost i feel nothing.
i mean, i feel nothing: all of it.
explore every angle of nothing. taste
nothing. my sweat intermixes
with a very specific absence of sweat.
my breath echoes. a lack of weight
pressed firmly into my chest.
i like so much that isn't; the promise
that the absence will, eventually, be full.
it's like we're at the bottom of a well
and the moon is the cover,
keeping all the rain out ---
--- tries to kiss me outside of the cabin.
the black-fire of evening. a smoke
that buzzes along with the insects
and the generators and my little idiot heart.
trees stubbornly tear the winds to shreds.
when i ask her
to show me where she grew up,
she points down.
an entire town suggesting itself;
a history written in foundation stones.
she asks about the moon,
what's behind its face
and why we can't see it.
i don't understand.
"i don't understand" i say.
it's rare that we can see the moon,
especially fully, even when it's facing us ---
--- thinks she's the rain when it rains.
the hail when it hails. the wall
when she passes through it. hell,
she thinks she's haunted by me
when i chase her around the house
sobbing warmly into her body.
the rivers are full of tears you can't identify;
storms: the same. the windows steam.
she wants to know where ghosts come from.
she should know by now, they come
from the silence
once the silence is,
she cleans her ghost guns;
shoots them at the non-ghost moon
who she claims is her mother.
true or not, her mother
reels further and farther
backwards, from both of us, every year ---
--- has a favorite game
that she calls:
"does it have a soul?"
she points to things and says "yes."
i point at things.
she says "no."
this is how it's played.
the frames of houses clatter like bones
when the train comes through.
wind stirs the leaves
like a fancy drink in a fancy glass.
"that was me," she shouts
into my ear, "my body
is made of wind!!!"
but when it blows, it's the wind
that blows. and the bones
are the bones, and
the trains are the trains. and she is not,
nor was she ever, even, the wind.
whatever we are, we can escape it.
and yet, we don't ---
--- doesn't understand me. nor me, her.
i sit in the dark garage and the dark makes dark
shapes. outside, feet pass by.
the pilot light in the water heater tower is shy
and small and blue like a soul.
poor, sad, light.
something mechanical clucks its tongue.
feet continue passing near the door.
it's easy to fall in love with the world. people fall
into love like it was an uncovered well.
once, the snow turned green as it was falling.
it's easier to let the world chisel at your heart
until only the bitter stone inside is left.
i ask my ghost if she's happy.
but she's not there; i'm talking to a chair
with a stranger's coat draped over its back ---