Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 2 , November 2015


Secondary ghosts

PS Cottier

  These are the small, mean spirits 
  who leave mysterious messages 
  on devices, translating speech 
  into no known language;
  groff nable malp en dink?
  This is no technical glitch, 
  but a pathetic attempt at haunting.
  Secondary ghosts are a fading 
  of something already faded. 
  A memory of a scream become 
  a half-heard whisper—
  a forgotten song with bad lyrics. 
  They cast no shadow, 
  or possibility of shadow.
  These are not lions of other realms, 
  bursting onto the mind’s savannah. 
  They aspire to the condition 
  of invisible hamsters, and strain
  to leave bad smells in kitchens. 
  The mischief of rats is beyond them, 
  and their passing ruffles no hair.
  They dwell just to the east of nothing, 
  a quiet transparent punctuation 
  half felt in life’s written world. 
  In a rare moment of visibility,
  they may manage to leave a mark. 
  Tiny passing of a secondary ghost 
  dwells, perhaps, at a sentence’s end.