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The Overworld

in shadow she trailed shadow.

when i turned to face her,

she weaved between the mottled,

peeling trunks of sycamores

back the way we had come

then dissolved like last notes

of a radio’s static nocturne

into the high cattails

and banked morning fog.

i had enjoyed the night,

the pursuit, and was sorry

to see her go.

you and i met

the next summer,

your approach the pop

and flash of filament burning out,

a burst impressing the closed eye

with a promise of daybreak

even as it scatters the flurry

of moths, brings the narrow porch

to dark and cool.

today, a decade

of summers gone, while you shut off

lamps and drew down blinds, i stood

on our front step. looking back

into the shaded hall, i half expected

you weren’t there.

but out of the dimness,

your shape and strut.

you brushed past me,

led us down the street

where the sun radiated

from tracts of asphalt,

where pine boards nailed

across cavities in the brick

swelled and warped,

where in the oven air

picked-over meat on rib bones

turned seeping and sour.

you led

and did not disappear,

remained with me in this:

the too-bright world.

from Ghost, like a PlaceFind more by Iain Haley Pollock at the library

Copyright © 2018 Iain Haley Pollock
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Iain Haley Pollock Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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