matthew zapruder, “come on all you ghosts”

5

Come on all you ghosts.
Bring me your lucky numbers
that failed you, bring me

your boots made of the skin
of placid animals
who stood for a while in the snow.

Bring me your books
made of blue sky
stitched together with thread

made of the memory
of how warm
even the most terrible

among us has felt
the skin of his or her beloved
in the morning to be.

Come on all you ghosts,
try to make me forget
one summer lost

in a reservoir and another
I keep in my chest.
Come on all you ghosts,

try to make me repeat
the most terrible thing I said
to someone and I will

if the mind of that someone
could ever be eased.
Come on let’s vote

for no one in the election
of who is next to die.
Come on all you ghosts,

I know you can hear me,
I know you are here,
I have heard you cough

and sigh when I pretend
I do not believe
I have to say something important.

Probably no one will die
of anything I say.
Probably no one will live

even a second longer.
Is that true?
Come on all you ghosts,

you can tell me now,
I have seen one of you becoming
and I am no longer afraid,

just sad for everyone
but also happy this morning I woke
next to the warm skin

of my beloved. I do not know
what terrible marvels
tomorrow will bring

but ghosts if I must join you
you and I know
I have done my best to leave

behind this machine
anyone with a mind
who cares can enter.

Yes. (Happy Valentine’s Day.)

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