Today's poem is by Nancy Krygowski


There is a ghost in this room,
a woman with breath like
a heavy party dress. She

is over in the corner, sitting on
the hard wooden chair, legs spread,
elbows on thighs, body hunched

like a man who is doomed because
he's done wrong or because circumstance
is painting his sad portrait.

She breathes like a cat. I know that,
really, there is a car in the corner of the room
I sleep in, a cat that killed a mole,

delivered it to my doorstep, small and sleepy
and licked wet. I was at a party.
A man came up to me, said, l just saw a ghost,

but what he meant was an old lover,
someone who had left the days of his life
like they were chicken bones and tinfoil

in a black-green bag on the back stoop,
a heap waiting to be lifted up, carried away.
Now I have these days and these nights of ghosts.

I don't mean to suggest that the one
in the corner, now, as I am not sleeping,
as the man I say I love heats my body effortlessly,

is that woman. It is more complicated than that.
Let me just say, again, that now I have these days
and these nights, let me just say I hear ghosts.

Copyright © 2007 Nancy Krygowski All rights reserved
from Velocity
University of Pittsburgh Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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