Sleep in his old t-shirt
savoring the scent trapped inside thread and collar.
Mimic the sound of shutting doors
Play a melody of afternoon thunderstorms
and chase the scent of rain
through the house.
Refuse to release what has passed
from mind and motion,
bite lower lip to keep words
from falling out.
Flick ash to pavement,
bare feet to sidewalk,
leave a trail from the rubble
that built a favorite mythology.
Find a boy at the bar with the same shade of eyes
and a smile kind enough to resurrect the past.
Sing all the words to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” in his ear
in a slow dance to last call.
Stare into eyes a little too long,
listen to stories with too much thirst for truths.
Tell him he reminds you of someone you used to know.
Show him the peaceful side of your nature,
the sleepless side of your soul.
Walk across the broken glass of beer bottles
to nudge him awake,
replace missing pages about last night
over a breakfast where you
laugh too loud to be in public,
still drunk from one another.
When he leaves
thank him for wearing the skin of memory
and gifting the kindness of patience.
Do not kiss him goodbye.
Reclaim evening habits,
curled in tattered wool sweater,
beer and cigarette,
tangled in all the parts of what once was.
Watch in solitude as the full moon creeps across the sky
and breathe in all that has come to pass.
“How to Love a Ghost” was previously published on the blog Truck : n. a self-propelled vehicle for carrying goods, by Larry Goodell.