Please, warm your hands on the heat of the flames.
Go find yourself a nice stick,
And then start roasting marshmallows or hotdogs on it,
Because I have got a ghost living inside of me,
And the only way I seem to be able to tell anyone about it
Is through campfire stories.
So let me tell you about my apparitions;
The ghost of a girl I have found I share myself with.
How strange it is to be haunted by the spirit of someone still living-
That there exists a physical manifestation of one’s phantom.
But, despite being a reflection of you
I do not call this ghost by your name-
I call it by a lot of names, but never yours.
Just in case I summon the real you by mistake.
Instead I call this ghost absence,
Because that is what it is, mostly.
It is a pit in my stomach like void.
It is like remembering too late that I’m only ordering for one,
And having to eat the same thing for two days.
It is dialing your number when I know you won’t answer,
Just to breathe into your voicemail and then hang up.
It is nights where the stars forget to shine,
And the moon seems to have lost itself in the sky.
It is trying to figure out exactly how many days it’s been since the last time you held my hand.
It is deciding that calculating that is probably more pathetic than it is poetic.
It is finding out that it’s been 68 days since you’ve held my hand and realizing that I can feel that number etched into the bone of every finger.
Sometimes I call this ghost mirror,
Because I’m haunted as much by my own self as I am by your memory.
And because I still talk to your reflection.
And because I am still friends with your sister,
And she wears almost all of your features,
So I can still see your sunrise of a smile
Even after you leave me.
Sometimes I call this ghost temporary.
People have told me that it will fade in time.
Like, the memories will become blurry
And the aching will dull
And I’ll be able to go through the day
Without visions of you.
Sometimes I’m not sure this is true.
Other days I’m sure it is,
But I’m not sure I want it to be.
Tell me, how lonely does one have to be
To want to keep a ghost around for company?
Sometimes I call this ghost postcard,
Because a postcard is a snapshot that you send to loved ones,
Who will probably never experience a place themselves
As fully as if they had been there.
And this ghost, these names and descriptions,
These are only snapshots of you,
That I send to those
That will never experience what we had
As fully as if they had been us.
I can only give a glimpse.
I can only tell you about the little pangs.
About walking home with my phone burning a hole in my pocket
But knowing that you won’t answer if I call you.
About seeing that you are doing everything the two of us had planned,
But you’re doing it while holding his hand.
And, about how you probably don’t miss me like I do you.
How I’m not a ghost to you-
I’m just a photograph with a face cut out,
But never a collection of reflective glass shards,
And definitely not pretty enough for a post card.