He said he would ghost me but I know you don’t tell someone and in any event, even though I do not very much like him I do not wish him dead, and he wouldn’t make a very good ghost anyway, since he barges and not sneaks.
He said he would unfriend me, but since we were never friends to begin with, how can you unfriend someone who barely considers you an acquaintance, that feeling no doubt mutual.
He said he might spam me, but that, too, is hopeless for I have been a vegetarian for two plus decades and did not eat canned spiced ham spread when I ate meat.
He said he wanted nothing at all to do with me, and on that point we fully agreed.
I’ve always imagined that one of these nights I’d see my mother’s ghost. I would welcome the sight welcome she that bore me, not she that stepped in in a way,absolving my birth mother of her sin, while assuming adopting me would make her complete.
She hasn’t visited yet, neither has done so, but I hold out hope, it is after all the last to go, and I do hear her voice, faint and all too distant, sounding very much like my own one instant and then no more than a faint whisper in retreat.
I don’t need a long conversation, a few words would more than suffice, but some at least, a child should in advancing age hear the sound of a mother’s voice, if only to find solace in the fact that her choice to yield the child was made from love not defeat.
They arrive unannounced often not seen until they have been among us and won’t say how or when they arrived. Some claim to have seen their arrival as they have seen other visitors visible only to them, and predict their departure with a certainty born of a delusion or a sense beyond the understanding. Others say that the are merely us in masquerade, it is we who are deluded for there is no arrival by an ongoing presence. I say nothing, for I am one of them, just as I am one of us, I am recently arrived, while I have long been here and either you or I may or may not be deluded.
In the night what I am perched on the edge of sleep you appear, just out of the dream shadows, avoiding the light, you are featureless. I call to you and I think you must be smiling but your voice is the wind through the Austrian pines and the drip from the ever shrinking icicles that slowly abandoned the eaves of the house.
I sat with the ghost again
this morning, the one who inhabits
the body that was once my father.
Ghosts find it difficult to speak
from within living bodies, so mostly
it squeezed my hand and offered
an occasional weak smile or nod,
said I looked good, but ghosts do have
trouble seeing out of human eyes.
He slept quite a bit, curled up
the better to contain himself
against the lights and prodding,
for ghosts want only silence and peace.
I came down out of these mountains once, emerged from clouds that built, blackened the sky, bleached and were gone, I slid on snow pack, I came down into the sage and piñon, lit my fires and purified myself. I ran with jackrabbits, imagined bears were coyote, coyotes cats that might curl in sleep around my feet. I dug for water, turned parched ground to straw with prayer and dream, baled my dreams and straw and stacked them neatly, plastered them over and huddled within, I ran wires to the mountain gods and drew their power, I stole the light of a thousand stars, darkened the moon and now I am chindi, rejected by my spirit kin, left to wander the mesa.
They come down from the hills long after the sun
retreats beyond Tres Piedras. In the moonless sky they creep around the pinyon, nestle the sage that blankets the mesa, stare at the scattered homes
that dot the half-frozen soil. They are orange flames compressed inside orbs paired, they approach here one set, there another. The wind whistles through the Rio Grande Gorge here a mere whisper. The wild rabbits perk, fly through the sage in lupine terror.
One brays to the stars and inside the house the fur on the cat’s back bristles. It’s just a coyote, he says, nothing to be afraid of here. At night, they say, this land is once again ours, and we hold the key to the human prison.