FragLit

an online magazine of fragmentary writing

::

Haunting Memories

Fall 2009 :: Current Issue

2009 :: Issue 5/Fall :: Haunting Memories

Among Ghosts

Sarah Sloat

At the Salvation Army
there’s a rack of coats I can’t try on:
line-up of lost souls

::

I know a slender woman haunted by her former heavy self.
The body has been exorcised; the spirit will not let go.

::

The song in my head this morning, a song I didn’t know I liked.

::

The typewriter, too, is not extinct. It lives on
in street work, factories, rivers, in feet descending stairs.
My father’s boxy black one.
My electric Brother.

::

in love, the ghoul of hate

::

When I try to speak French, Italian spooks me,
less the form than the mood of it, the flighty rise and ebb.

::

The man who haunts his own house.

::

When I was in high school, a neighbor was decapitated by a train,
stumbling home drunk by the overpass. His name was Charlie,
older brother of a friend. Everyone knew the story.

I can’t go through that part of town without thinking of it.
As if I’d been there. And it’s not Charlie who haunts
that part of town, but what happened to Charlie.

::

People talk about phantom limbs, but rarely of the phantom itch.
The itch occurs, but what’s under it?

::

the past / the smell of lavender / a stroke that stays in the bones / trauma / fog / exhaust trapped in the atmosphere / abortion / childhood / perfume / regret

::

The parts haunt the sum.
The choir in the ostrich.
The goon in kangaroo.

::

We’re all haunted by Auschwitz, even the deniers.
We’re all standing shoeless in the Polish snow.

::

to say nothing of graveyards
only the dead really give up the ghost

::

In the town without children, the mind fills with children.

::

Illness is a kind of haunting, too.
Of behavior, maybe, or a ghost in the genes.

::

“Haunt” refers to a place a man can frequently be found.
He occupies it, fills, inhabits it, seeking
something he’ll never come home with.

:::


Copyright © 2017 FragLit :: Admin