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Sorry, T.

but I’m a ghost. Do you understand

that the person you love

is fleshy and heavy from hip

to boot to make up for this?

There’s a name for it: Brenda,

but I can’t fool everyone.

Even if I have convinced you,

and I don’t bruise easily, that I am yours

to strong-arm and throttle.

Even when you force me to become

of this world—of this cold floor.

I can do so only for a moment.

When the moment falls off

and primal fool-seasons

affix their wintry incubus,

I tend to stomp around to another

bed. Hurting you vaporizes me,

which is why I love others.

I don’t leave a flukeprint in the sweat

of things. The ground won’t greet me

like a domestic animal when I walk.

When I talk you glaze over like the sun

on shifty pavement.

I won’t see the lip of a step

before I bloody my knees again.

(The blood isn’t so bad, but for a ghost

it doesn’t make sense.

Others can draw it, they don’t know.

They make it into a potion for themselves

but you try to make me look at it.)

from Human Dark with SugarFind it in the library

Copyright © 2008 Brenda Shaughnessy
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

Published in Brenda Shaughnessy Poems

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