Free Verse Poetry

Conversations With Ghosts

Image by maison from Pixabay

“Do you remember?”
Feathers weaved in hair,
winds that carried us everywhere,
plane cabins that smelled like stale
cigars & the two of us before
broken hearts. Stiff legs after nine-hour
flights, but grinning through the cold
bite. The feel of his fingertips is always
present on my skin & his voice
is a siren’s call that drags me
in. We roll in Parisian sheets &
explore Rome’s streets; It’s perfect:
him & me.
We find every crevice inside each
other and climb every mountain
that exists in the other’s chest; we
are ancient & brand-new, alpha &
omega, Zeus & Hera, Cleopatra &
Anthony; laying in a canopy woven
with our own chemistry.

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“I do.”
It’s a whisper in the touch of his nose
on mine & the way it collides
with my skin;
how he feels like a phantom even
when he’s within
reach. Then again, he’s never
within reach anymore. He’s half a world
away even as he sits right next to me;
My whole body trembles to touch him
the way I had previously. There are no
more crumpled sheets & plane cabins;
all we have left are the empty streets
of what we had been. I want to
commit his laugh to memory so
I can hear it in my brain whenever
my heart trembles to have him
with me. It’s less a tremble and
more an icy spike thrusting through
my torso, thick & heavy like a harpoon
through the very ivory of my ribcage,
but I come back time and again because
the way he traces lines across my back for
the five seconds he remains by my side; he’s
like drinking coca-cola laced with cocaine & lime;
an entire galaxy & a world away. Bitter & so
beautiful that I wish he’d stay.

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“I miss that.”
I want to say, but they would fall on
ghost ears in the many mausoleums
of our dead affection. All we have left here
are graveyards of nights long forgotten.
So, instead, I fly away,
as far as the first plane will take me
so I can’t be haunted by his skin &
his lips & the siren call of his laugh because
if I hear it even once, I know I’ll be coming back.
I ache for his grin & grimace,
for his compliments & his criticism. I
would take a fight over the silence of
the now-empty apartment we shared,
but it’s a vial of poison & a venom
– his hands are maces & his eyes go
alight when his venom words bite.
Yet, still, he follows me
across seas & leaping over the many
boundaries I lifted to keep men like
him out, but he’s slipped through
into the garden I try to keep clear
of pests & snakes & mess;
& still I’m in foreign lands, cold
hotel rooms, staring at the street
-light shrouded sheets beside me
& wondering who
he is back home & who
he’s with back home
& deeply wishing he was
with me

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