“the unfriendly ghost trapped in the friendly form”
—Erica Jong, “The Deaths of the Goddesses”
I don’t hear him until he coughs
from my throat, and then I know
he is here again.
Taking my hands, he pulls apart
the hours between rose and dark
and scatter them.
Getting in front, pushing me aside,
he rides my love who cannot tell
He marches me to the cemetery
and through the tall iron gates
looks for a bird.
Unfriendly ghost, unfriendly life,
you beat time to my heart but you
are not the heart.