The room was dark and there was a ghost in the corner. I couldn’t sleep -and I could hear him praying- he was saying the name of Mary. The cloaks are in the sky at night -and one by one they cover us- whoever they are- they sneak in the room and lay over our bodies and smother the light- and we sleep and forget we knew him. He came in and sat down and didn’t come near me, but instead he watched, and he prayed, and he let me lie listless- a cloaked figure- a ghost- alabaster and raw. “Tomorrow isn’t coming, Christ Jesus.” I pretended I didn’t see his willowy knuckles caressing the joints in my heart. I pretended I didn’t feel Mary stirring way beneath my shallow bones. “Where have you taken me?” Another night in rags, tearing the sheets from my burdensome skin. Wild and alone, a darkness like no other settled upon me like the weight of man. I knew someone had come -dragging a corpse not far behind him, a chain down the hallway swinging a child- stuck between legs of dewdrop and ash. I mean, this is nothing new, I’ve seen it all before. I’ve been the one turning the knob on your door. And I’m coming in to lay with you -quietly worn- and I’m listening to the beat beat beat of the ghost inside your cloak. Are you going to go down on me somewhere calling out to Mary? Sacred, even more sacred than before. Prayers light the corner of my room where the shadow of you sits pretending it isn’t time to die yet. And I’m coming in your room after everyone has gone to bed -and I’m not going to cover you with sleep- but instead with me, the warm sound of her name. Ripped and torn open, wet beneath blankets and tears that don’t dry…I heard a voice come from your mouth long ago, before this happened -and tonight was only the end of your breath. I am the beginning of tonight. My chest rises and falls and nobody’s there but you. And I’m going to float through your door in the darkness -and I will not turn on the light- and I won’t sit in the corner, I will lie next to you, pulling you through me thread by thread. Close, even closer than before. Black eyed, magnetic enigma, who doesn’t hear the midnight lark- who doesn’t open music with their mouth- who doesn’t belong in my silence long after death has parted? And I stole the crown of thorns he wore and I put it on my head -and I walked away from him like I never heard a word he said…and then I came for you, “Christ, my lord why haven’t they fed my baby?” But tonight was different -and I wasn’t wearing anything, only naked- with the usual scars -and he was sitting in the corner, a ghost, and I could hear him praying to her, “Mary why did you leave me to die?” I shook word from word and saw the slow movement of transparency upon a body of burden. I looked the other way in the dark, and he whispered, “She doesn’t know I love you more” And when I come into your room after everyone’s gone to bed, and it won’t be long, I’ll bring you a piece of me that you’ll never forget, I’ll lay down and give up the sky. I’ll roll over and blind the last witness. I’ll cover you in thorns and kisses. I’ll dream a little dream for you and you’ll never see me coming. I’ll pull back the blankets and crawl inside your skin and I’ll start moving and humming her voice through the stars. I’ll open the casket and touch your body. I’ll say a prayer and beg you to never leave me again. Why do you always sit in the corner? My room is a chamber of secret syllables. Tonight is a fatal slash on my wrist. You are the sin in my tears. I am the blanket that covers your dim body. I am darker than you, we make light together. If I knew what to do I would do it. If only I could sleep without knowing who you are.
Make me whole,
The ghost said me.