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Ghosts. The ghosts don’t go with the day.

I dreamed last night of a lover long gone. I dreamed about mothers and I dreamed of my father enraged. I saw myself in a place where all the ways people hurt can be boiled to the places where we hurt each other, and I imagined myself in flames. I dreamed about making love with the dreamer who touched me and whose lingering spirit I thought I had cast away.

Theses dreams kept me in a state of sleep all day, haunted by ghosts and the memories of presence, again and again and again.

Now you follow me around. You find me after work and come to me with a smile. I don’t know how to break your heart, and so in my efforts to be kind I know that I am crueler still. How I hate it. We walk in the dismal rain that is this town, through rows of clouds that hang close to the ground and I watch the rain in misting drops that keep everything off at a distance.

Ghosts are all around.

I can’t ask you how to deal with a haunting. Your goofy smile, hopeful for love won’t permit it, and why would you want to see? No, I don’t ask. Instead I offer another excuse and retreat. I can’t have anyone else following me around today. Not when I can’t shake these spirits. Not when I’m possessed myself. I find your smile pleasant and your voice reassuring, but I know that you want something that I can’t give, so I dart off back into the rain with only a word of goodbye, asking the clouds to envelope me, and take me to the thin grey places where ghosts can always stay.

Maybe I will join them.

A dance with meandering ghosts. I envision myself in his arms where he is, ethereal and at play between raindrop tears. I can render his space in my mind, and enter it beyond my will, in the place where his spirit still moves me. I believed that I shook him off long ago, but the spirits don’t fade in the day. I turn to face my father, a sad old man with nothing left in this world, and his expectations rise in waves, crushing, eliminating all that I am. I thought I killed him long ago, but I only created this ghost. One more ghost to keep for the darkness. One more ghost to build walls, and the places I want to go slowly fade beneath the slowly erected masses of brick, tar and blood.

Ghosts. Ghosts of the ones who have mattered, but out from whom I still can’t seem to shake free.

You, will you take me? I know that you will. But I’m going to stay here, for now; stay and see what the ghosts have to say.

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