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Photo by Andrew Bui on Unsplash

1.
Capture ghosts in bell jars, glowing bright like fireflies. Use the ghosts to guide the way along the storm shore where waves break.

2.
When the ghosts protest over ghost rights and the inhumanity of confinement and talk about the rights of prisoners, tell them the rules don’t hold for incorporeal forms.

3.
Take the ghosts to the breakwater, but not beyond mid-afternoon when silver flashes over grey seas.. Morning is best because that’s when they’re unlikely to be called home.

4.
Feed ghosts clouds of memory, a softer grey than sky, more like the underside of a dove’s wing. Water them with India ink to mark their outlines in space. …


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Photograph by Uwe Baumann.

The jumble of mismatched skeleton keys hang from the corner of the dusty hallway mirror, part of the landscape of home. They jangle softly as I brush my hand past them, waiting to find courage. Beneath my fingers, they’re cool and bright, silver and gold-toned.

My hand hesitates over them. Is today the day? I don’t know. The weight of ghosts has kept me from taking them down. It’s been too much to bear. And usually — always — it’s been best to walk by.

Today, spring beckons beyond the open door, sun casting into the dark hallway, spilling over wood floors and sky blue on the door. It’s the same door as the one I hesitate over, touch the knob and walk away, a daily habit. …


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Photo by Sketch the Sun on Unsplash

sometimes there’s the messes we make
and sometimes there’s the messes we inherit

caught in blood and molecules and unwanted
buried family histories that linger and stifle along

parallel marks hidden on your body where no one
sees their weight or hears their grey echo under skin

like lashing white waves pounding ancient sands
against the shuttered resort by ragged cliffs

where single footprints wind on the endless shore
gulls cry their censure, dipping deep in the breeze

flanking me as i walk toward crumbled ruins
with power lines crackling electric overhead

carrying messages aloft both aviary and divine
through unseen currents of modern stories…


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Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

Ever since you left, I can empathise with ghosts, even fall in love with them. Unattainable, distant, fantastical ghosts — my favourite.

Time is supposed to heal all wounds, but only if you’re lucky. The unlucky carry wounds in weary hearts and minds that a lifetime, or several lifetimes, are not enough to overcome. Perhaps it’s a weakness, this vulnerability, but at least I can feel love, grief, and murky things slipping by: dark shadows in deep waters.

Can you still feel too? You did, once. Too hard to look old wounds in the eye, acknowledge them — leaving the void of us behind, footprints lined with salted tears. …


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Photo by MUILLU on Unsplash

1.
There’s thread shot through this whole tangled thing. Starting with crumpled cotton, a chill night, first pushed together like roosting doves, before leaving the aviary to rut. Pillows fall to the floor, feathers bound to the earth. And the wall thump-thumps as the party below roars into dawn. Later, we bear witness to a sunrise over cigarette plumes and broken pink clouds in the garden, jackets pulled tight against the cold and dew.

2.
These same crumpled linens now lie on your too small bed jammed into midnight shadows, hours north and a country away, barely big enough for two. It’s a path of cloth all the way from the entry to the bed. …


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Image by Efes Kitap via Pixabay


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Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

About

Hugh Blackthorne

Likes the words and old things.

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