Ghosts don’t haunt the dust in attics,

crammed behind the crusty boxes

of pop music cassettes left behind by some stranger.


They don’t cower below the rickety basement stairs

biding time counting cobwebs and roach droppings,

rooting into hidden alcoves that stink of curdled rat piss.


Ghosts inhabit our personal spaces:

curled up beneath the fresh linens in our beds,

icy chests pressed against our bare shoulders;

floating beside us in the luxury bath we paid too much for,

entwining amorphous fingers into our splayed hands;

lounging in the shadows behind the Ikea couch

as we scream at the news and guzzle Sweet Baby Jesus Stout.


They wait beneath the crib of the neighbor’s baby who died of SIDS,

translucent eyes scrunching up and stinging at the memory of tears.


Ghosts grasp the motorcycle’s sissy bar when that opinionated friend

down the street crashes, stroking his back as he gulps his last.


They shake their fists with futile rage when the spirited trainer

from that gym downtown swallows his pistol one night.


Ghosts trail behind us to inhale the echoes of our laughter,

surf above us as we ride the crests of our orgasms,

lick lips at the condensation on our glasses,

turn up noses when we belt out our favorite songs off-key.


Demons or angels, there has never been any difference amongst our ghosts:

no god to call them home, just shadows resting a cheek against our necks,

the pin drop in our final scenes,

the silence that trails afterward.

Lisa M. Kendrick, 49, lives in the heart of Norfolk, Virginia with her twin daughters. She has been teaching and writing high school English curriculum for twenty-five years; publishes a high school literary magazine; records a literature discussion series called LIT in TEN; writes poetry and fantasy; and records literature readings.

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