Paul Perry

To a Ghost

Paul Perry

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We sit in the room. We talk.

It is my life you describe.

You say it is your own.

Tell me again how it was.

The rain is lashing.

Your handwriting uneven.

The other details

you maintain are unimportant.

Talk about the moonlight then.

In your childhood.

It was thin as blood.

It was never there.

So sleep – whose kiss

Is this on your hot forehead?

Whose kiss?

So sleep –

There is a noise from downstairs.

Imagine your mother baking.

It is not her.

Or your father singing.

It is not him.

Downstairs, while you sleep

Or try to sleep, is something else.

It matters what you call it.

It matters that you can.

So speak to me again

Of your life.

It is mine as well.

Paul Perry

Paul Perry is the author of five collections of poetry, including Gunpowder Valentine: New and Selected Poems (The Dedalus Press, 2014).