2009 :: Issue 5/Fall :: Haunting Memories
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.