an impromptu visitation (20170517)

i hear a rustling
like dried leaves
caught in a hot wind
coming from the spare room

i surprise my father
in the act of changing clothes

though silent
he seems angry
mouth clenched closed
like a vise
eyes squinting in judgment

you know you’re dead, right?

next year
he will be one hundred years old
and has been haunting me
from house to house for almost
a quarter of that century

both he and the clothes
are transparent
and when i remind of
of his non-corporeal state
he loses the angry look

though burly in life
he shrugs his grave-thin shoulders
fades away
with the sound of a brittle page
of an old book being turned

shadows are the ghosts of rainbows (20170201)

stand in one spot long enough
and you can watch
the passage of time
the shadow spinning
around the trunk of a tree
like a slow drunk
but what substance, shadow
what substance

only this
–the chill of stepping into you,
–the graying of colors,
–the long dead dust of the sun
settling on your shoulders
and drying you out

from my mouth (20170119)

my words are spittle
on rice paper
bleached driftwood carving lines
in the sand

you enter my blood like
like a fever and hollow me out
making flutes of my bones

i pull you close
smell your hair your skin
and still i breathe hot
on the mirror
and run a finger through it

we fall in love with ghosts
and with our ideas of ghosts
and our ideas are ghosts
and our words are their
quick and dead forms