A woman, who just as well
might have been a man, tells
neighbors of her curse – the poignant
dolorous blah of an urchin
felt in the shoulder blades,
heard ultrasonically saying
with a petulant sadness,
‘nobody’s fault, nobody’s fault.’
This rather rambunctious ghost
of a boy growing up playing
in the mine’s mystery conveyed
gritty feelings of slow doubt.
An almost vertiginous
sense of waywardness –
always rubbing his eyes
never getting it out.
Like the sound of a dove
that sounds like an owl
that looks like a wraith,
he swoops along her ground,
hungry for her shadow,
thirsty for old salty days
when two directions only
pushed and pulled his youth –
onto the fog-laden rocks
separating sandy pools
where life reduces to polyps
where breath is foamy, irregular,
or the other way out to deep
ever-same and ever-changing
land of no land, no map, no
return unless you swim hard now.
He bleats wildly choking
on the phlegm of a century
swallowing again how he fought
with the foreman and disappeared.
It took a long time to shake
off depressed torpor and ascend
from the damp-bottomed darkness
of that ladder unclimbed, forgotten.
Two hundred feet through festering
resignation and lightening layers
of lead and gold to unwarming cold
rising nightly into skin and soul
of this miss unwilling and barely
aware of hosting in tidelike
resurgence and then release
the bludgeoned and abandoned waif.
A joining across impossibility
because he died below her shack,
because she lived where her grandfather
dug all day in laborious black.
Those who appoint themselves expert
on the not-so-natural nature
of the winds, waves, squirms and
fuzzy knocks of the murdered
sometimes say the logic of haunting
lies in relationship, or revenge,
or in unrequited mortal desires, but
cause and effect are undefendable.
A neck will tingle when it happens
to be present and available just
as the curious irrepressible dead
float by dreadlessly.
Who then are those who possess
the common accident of passing
of finer stuff into the grosser?
Those open to the caress.
The deep, light caress known by
the few of us unattuned but open to
voices out of time, to essences
loitering a blind gasp away.