These Ghosts Belong to Me

Smoke-like wisps in the Veil Nebula – Wikipedia

These ghosts belong to me.

All the pain and the pleasure.

No one else hears them

sees them

feels  them

as I do.

Pallid or

invisible and soundless

to others.

The colour of their eyes

rough/kind/happy/sad voices

time-wrung out

even for me.

But they are mine.

My fingertips still know

skin and hair and freckle.

Faulty memory holds weakened anger

unanswered questions

unresolved arguments

the echo of tears.

The lines on my face

remember the moments of joy

corners of mouths upturned

eyes mirth filled.

Tongue remembers the taste of

sharp delight.

These ghosts are mine.

Mine  to listen to

or not.

To hold close or push away.

When I too am

pale and voiceless

a ghost in another mind

will they still be there?



Piquant was not the right word. There probably was no word to adequately encompass what she was feeling.  If someone slowly pushed a needle, the diameter of a single, fallen hair, into her chest and gently set a vibration moving along it so that the pain was overlaid with a strange pleasure, like grasping for a happy memory on the edges of one’s ability to remember, it might come close to a description.

It was not the chest-crushing weight that hearing her sister say “Our daddy is dead” had set to swinging into her.

It was not the confused mingle of restrained emotion – like dancers all hearing different music – that had joined together at the back of her mind when her mother had finally let go of her vegetative body in the nursing home.

It might be something uniquely mated to the understanding that she had misunderstood her position in the world yet again, that what she had construed as belonging of a sort was really nothing of the kind.

It held familiarity, the realization that she had been here before and recognized herself in this place and contained threads of rue and guilt that she would find herself here again.

It held relief, as well. For once again she felt surety. In recognizing and accepting herself in this place – yet again – she felt tension leave her, anxiety sent to bed without its supper. While the world might continue to misunderstand her and she, in her desire to belong to it, might often misunderstand herself, this piquant pain would always be there; a vibration set along a hair-thin needle in her heart to remind her of her true self.