we live in an invisible court, unseen spirits to each other
speak through mirrors, through the lightning calls
of small blue birds
we attend invisible masquerades
(we are wonderful! wonderful!)
gussied up, disguised as our best selfie snapshots
gilt over emptiness

the rushing of our busy wings
our marches, waltzes, blitzes, our patrols
we nod at each other:
good morning! good evening!
at dawn, at noon, at moonlit midnight
each at once, all at once, choreographing
these most amiable
nodding warmly, wary
in our separate shy-zones, mind-rift
either an awful politeness, or–
the urgent desire to connect

my back has no skin, flayed open
my back is a channel I keep open
you have turned your face from mine; you say it is gentle
it is not gentle
how have I hurt you? what did I do or not do, say
or not say–and to whom?
what secret crime did I commit–perhaps in ignorance,
perhaps malice–to earn
this grand and glacial silence?
the bird of communication is frozen
blue, the color of compact ice; blue–ice most pure
uncomplicated, airless ice

we sit in judgement of each other
armored in distance, mountains of glass between us
dusty leadlights, slippery and splintering
there are ways to mute these voices, cut cords
I should’ve known were severed stumps already

but I leave my back open
while I front face, face front, front
forward and

it is not so bad, or even unfamiliar
to be a ghost


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4 responses to “Ghost(ing)

  1. Someone is being a jerk on social media 😦 I am grateful that you can turn pain into poetry, but I wish you didn’t have to be going through the pain.

    • csecooney

      That is a very pithy point of view! I’m sure there are all kinds of facets to the situation, but this poem, alas, makes no pretense at a complex POV. It’s just the doldrums of the day. Something I have been brooding about for, yeah, a few years now, but was reminded once more online—like a little barb. I wanted to exorcise it. A splinter in an oatmeal bath. Something. You are kind to read it, Francesca. Thank you. ❤️

  2. this:
    (we are wonderful! wonderful!)
    just broke me and I’ll be whispering it to myself in the next crowded room

    • csecooney

      Straight from the Sh’peare: As You Like It—
      O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping!

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