POEM: You again


I had not thought about you
for weeks, months, years
and now you stand
behind my right shoulder—
a pale ghost with long dark hair—
just out of the reach of my eye.
Always at night, sometimes
at dawn, and now even
when it is day. I want to
take an axe to my head,
cleave my skull,
gouge out that part of my brain
that holds onto you
and spits out these memories.

You were never anything like a ghost.
Perhaps you are dead? A ghost now?
I feel hollow in odd parts of my body
like my left ear or the fourth
toe on my right foot — the toe
I broke before I even knew you.
And there you are again
somewhere where you are not supposed to be.

I made a figure out of terracotta
put him in the sun to dry.
His hair is short, like yours (was).
He stands on my balcony,
smoking a clay cigarette.
Any minute he’ll come inside
ready to tell more lies.
I have written so many poems about you,
why should I write one more line?

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