08/31

evidence of haunting 

i was babysat by ghosts. basinette down
into the basement where i rocked 
to the knocking of pipes. still, only once in awhile
did i see a full body apparition,
tall murky woman with long white hair.
she would moan & cover her eyes. 
our house had too many mirrors.
i learned my face was not always 
my face--beneath the surface 
it could easily shift into seance.
put the ouija board key in my mouth.
a piano playing itself. glasses falling 
from cabinets & making a mash of glass.
a phantom hand, removing a shard 
from my bare foot. were they envious
of my flesh, all ripe & soft?
tv turning itself on to the shopping channel.
soon, a set of brownie pans 
arrived without warning. 
a package often fell from the ceiling.
new towels & stuffed animals & once 
arrive a candelabra already lit.
flames can survive a lot of silence. 
i don't remember any of this-- 
i was a baby of course but 
when i hold my palms up to the light
to inspect i can see evidence 
of haunting. i know my parents
summoned them with a pentagram 
in the damp basement, holding hands
& reciting spells in latin. of course,
none of this is true. my babysitters
were young girls with curly hair
& freckles. they crossed their legs
& once in while left me alone
in my bed room where i might
cover my eyes & turn around.
me, my own little 
music box. a ghost putting his hands
on my shoulders to steady me. 
blinking open i said
"hello? hello?" that's still me
in the middle of a room 
spinning. my babysitter is
a skeleton. no one is watching me.

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