Such A Beautiful Ghost
I’m sure it ought to be you, not I,
watching, crying out, begging to be seen,
but I handle each of these moments
as delicately as I would a flower petal
dried between the pages of a book.
You pull hair soundlessly from your face,
to keep it from falling into blossoming tears
I’ll never be able to smooth away with my touch.
This is agony of the purest kind.
Yet, I don’t know what would happen
if I were to wake and not find your ghost waiting.
Somebody said after the initial mountain
things get easier, that you relearn how to live
within a few months.
They didn’t say what to do if you meet
your wife’s ghost on the stairs, every morning,
before the sun asks the dust to dance.
There’s still a flush on your cheeks
from the fever, and your hair is knotted
at the back from when I massaged your scalp
for the last time. I remember how you mustered
the strength to thank me, and how my grief
sat in my throat like a fist and I almost choked.
I remember the rich flavour
of your kiss, the ecstasy in your smile,
how you remained brightly happy right until
the fever conquered your heartbeat.
I wanted to climb into the coffin with you
I wanted the earth to seal us in together,
I wanted the fever that took you
to take my heartbeat too.
But here I am, watching your ghost,
paused on the seventh step,
and here I will stand until the light
silently swallows you up.