Poetry Boot Camp – Memorial

March 12, 2010 § 1 Comment






I can feel the ghosts here, I say to him, as we pass though the courtyard
towards the kitchen. The military barracks – now an artist’s lodge –
reek of carpet cleaner, and the desert air is as still as a fallen horse.
I exchange my words: I mean there could be ghosts, I say, it could be a poem.

The inn’s breakfast biscuits (I’m certain they are Bisquick) arrive on
dusty plates, and the faded cloth napkin leaves cat hair on my lips.  
I can see myself in twenty years, surrounded by relics coated with
blushing powder and a little dog’s dandruff. My new glasses are too sharp.

Now the innkeeper wanders in. I am a historian, she says, and tells
of ghosts wandering the quarters and the bar, of falling roofs,
and prisoners of war. Of equine murder and his rider’s grief.
I told you, I now say, I told you there were ghosts. My lover looks at

me and smiles. The innkeeper is a ghost of her former life:
her lips are a swipe of Marilyn red, and her puffy face is framed by
metallic blonde that is harshly striped with gray. Now she speaks
about her dying son, who will soon become a spirit.

I too am a ghost; my past relationships and desires travel with me
and sometimes join us in the bed. Someday this new romance
will be a ghost. I wonder: How will it die and who will be the murderer?
Will it suicide and leave us to quarrel at its grave? Or will it pass
in bed with us, gently, as we hold each other? We are already fading away.

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