The Other Ones

The Other Ones

 

When the ground is soft enough for the spirit to stretch
beyond the numbers of endings and the numbers of beginnings

And the numbers stiff in stone grow warm in the spring sun
the cemetery down the hill fills with people walking.

I can tell the ones who aren’t ghosts because they notice my children
playing on the one patch of stoneless level grass just inside the gates.

The other ones are distracted by an old song in their ears.
The other ones, the ones carrying a large number in their arms

that is always one number larger than the last number they had
when the number was invisible and weightless and fit in a back pocket.

Some numbers are meant to catch, it is why they are shaped like lures.
Zero doesn’t catch, zero falls out of your pocket and you never miss it

And when you see it fall out of the laundry with the dryer sheet
you don’t worry that it’s ruined the rest of the clothes.  A young

couple walk past us, hop over a stone wall on the way
to photograph tombstones. We see them come back, leaving

a trail of decimal points like breadcrumbs. When you’re a ghost
that stops you in your tracks, and you pick one up like a penny

and then spend the rest of your life trying to decide if the point
goes to the left or the right of your number.

11 thoughts on “The Other Ones

  1. MR Henry

    “Some numbers are meant to catch, it is why they are shaped like lures. / Zero doesn’t catch, zero falls out of your pocket and you never miss it”

    Yes.

    Reply
  2. robert okaji

    Zeros fall out of your pocket! Oh, yes, they do. And sometimes they surround you with their emptiness, adding themselves to you to find only you. The hazards of nothingness…

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s