Commonality with ghosts: A poem

Illustration of road and moon at night
Ameena Golding/File

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Has the world ever been so still? The tips

of my fingers are freezing and my words

curl in the air as I practice 

their sounds and shapes, 

and the trees around me are silent —

waiting. Like they know something I don’t. 

 

But the moonlight (your light) is warm. 

Somehow, inexplicably, warm —

like a touch to the inside

of my wrist, blue veins thrumming. 

 

And maybe there are ghosts here. 

Maybe the chill that bites at the end

of my nose is their little way of saying 

hello. And maybe they’re a little sad 

and a little anxious and plenty

lost. 

 

But the moonlight (your light) guides them. 

The exact opposite of sunflowers, 

and yet just as devoted — when day comes, 

they hold their breath and pray for night.

Contact Madelyn Peterson at [email protected].

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