Haunted

November 17, 2015

Haunted

Sure, I realize you’re gone—while I’m awake.
I steel myself to the empty places in
the house, in my life. I come home knowing
it will be dark and I will be alone.
The TV is too loud, but it drowns out
the silence. So why can’t I sleep without
dreaming of you here with me in this bed
the way we used to be? In the morning
I wake tangled in sheets I was searching
for you—your body, your warmth, the you-ness
of you. The dreams are so real, though, I am
disappointed every morning when I
realize again that you’re really gone.

I find myself sleeping more, so as to
spend more time with you. I feel you with me
as surely as you ever were alive.
Your lips graze mine so softly, the bristle
of your beard burns my chin, as always. We
love each other all night long, in my dreams.
But when I wake, I find the beard burn on
my face. My body feels sore and well-loved.
And I’ve begun to be afraid of you.
Now I plan to leave, vacation in some
far-away locale. Surely, you won’t find
me there. I hope this one last night with you
will be enough to appease your spirit.