day 1. give up one ghost.

The labor of being human is bearing one another’s ghosts. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, so we gather our losses into elevators and shoot up to the top floor, where we survey the city and they say whatever we want them to.” ……….Thomas Page McBee

Dear Pen Pal,

I traveled into February and saw what you gave me. Thank you for the letter and the smear of pie. Thank you for the measurements which you spent 11 months calculating, allowing you to understand the distance between your ghosts and mine. Funny how many replicas of panic exist in people’s bodies. How many do we share and have you ever thought about covering them in glow-in-the-dark glitter. Maybe we can refurbish our ghosts into giant disco balls. We would no longer fear them. Instead, they’d cause us to remember how to dance and look around. And smile. I think my ghost might even ask you to waltz. Or twirl like lightning bugs. My ghosts are growing faint. All the neon in your body has caused all the rest of me to glow and forget all about the haunt(s) of what once was. And used to be.

emergence

i was never really taught how to be so is it ok that i am still finding out / so is it ok that i don’t fully understand the function of my palms and the meaning of their itch / and is it ok that i need to run and when i remain i am still running / so is it ok to hoard my breaths for the times i lose track of where they come from / so is it ok to mourn so much / so is it ok to (still) think about jumping, cutting, gassing and swallowing / so it is ok to have poetry as my mistress–the one I run to when I don’t want to explain myself / and is it ok to still prepare for how i’d like to end / and is it ok that i spit ghosts out of me each morning before breakfast / and is it ok that i quietly gather them up and swallow them back inside me / and is it ok to need these ghosts / and is it ok if i am one of these ghosts / and can you just let me know if you’re ok because i am not or maybe i am / and let’s just be still / let’s just be still /let’s just be still (in this)