My ghost’s primary victory speech
I will first ask the mountains to stop counting.
Four hours after midnight I will wake my body.
I have done this a lot lately but he can’t take a hint.
I will say first I am happy nobody could be here tonight
Next I will say first nothing has been certified
Nothing has been sanctioned nothing needs to be
Said first I will say that first and then I will move
My body’s finger across the lever of night
I will do that first because nothing comes next
So it all has to be said first and hasn’t he said it
All already can’t he wake up long enough to
Lie by the open window looking nowhere
Through the silence of mountains and
See where this is going and do the math
There’s only one ballot to count but
So loud In their spring are the starlings
Conversations (VIII) — to one haunted by a ghost
The key worked. The locked door opens.
I cannot see the word that troubles you.
Empty bottles line the windows. Looking
Out you are still looking in and the inward
Look is contained and darkens as
Sometimes when a word mispronounced
Shakes its muzzle loose unleashes itself
From its owners’ meaning and ends
Up meaning more as in what I am
Thinking of you away from this ghost
A week in the new house and we’re hearing and seeing things.
Black walnut trees scatter the light. Yellow leaves falling early
and long, through August and September. A few nights ago
someone banging around downstairs woke me up.
At my desk I hear a heavy foot take two strides in the room above
then stop. The room is as empty as a rationale.
One of my dogs is going to die. Almost a reminder of himself.
Behind the house I’m walking beside him in the cooling world
when a walnut pod, size of a baseball, smacks off the eave, bounces
and resounds on the porch’s tin roof. So there they are, my ghosts,
and so many left to fall, real despite what I believe or don’t, reminders,
inconsequential and eventually crumbling within softening husks
but for the moment so hard you’d have to drive a pickup truck
over them to hear a few of them crack open the inedible fruit.