Dec 3, 2003

Walk over the bridge on JFK, the wind whipping up the screams of ghosts from the river. Not frozen over, but soon. It is their river now. Their city. This savage wind their breath on my face, soon it will be frozen like theirs are.

My heart flares a little when I see the skull and crossbones in black and yellow on the back of her car. See her through the window, twisting beads onto lengths of wire. Remember that she is beautiful, my nose running all over my face.

She is always angry when I'm early I say I walked too fast because of the cold.

I give her the little yellow books and she fans them across the ledge in front of the window. I ask her if the sculpture is hers and she says it's just for show.

Closing time, "can you stand outside please?"

"Are you ready to walk fast, it's very cold?"

I realize I can only love the ones who move faster than I do. And I move like a stray. How fast a ghost can move, as death is inertia and a ghost defies death as surely as it defies life.

In the bar pretend not to know what to order for her. I can see that she is in pain. I know I will never see her smile again, at least when she is looking at me.

Why ask me what it's like to be a poet when you already know? We pretend not to remember our friends' names. We are wondering why we're here. A ghost does not know why it haunts, a ghost is like a barnacle attached to another barnacle. The other barnacle can turn inside out and there's a world inside of it.

I say that the advent of trains and busses and automobiles is important when considering the splintering of the narrative. She says we can hear voices from other places now in our heads and that is also important. We agree that the voices are important.

She says it is the movements, physical movements and abstract ones that constitute our lives. Even the movement of breath into and out of the body when one is still.

But a ghost doesn't breathe. A ghost is still even when it is whipping around you, even when it's dancing in the cord of the phone or on one of the points of a pair of scissors.

We will never forgive each other, not really. The narrative cracks. We go on making the movements of our lives, moving away from each other, but still our ghosts appear in the same mirror. I pretend to smile because I'm not really in the room.

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