My Wife and the Ghost (Poem)

And there was this.

A ghost that slivered itself from between worlds, leapt out of the snowy wolfwind on a December midnight. Slipped between blocked basement walls like sight through a keyhole. It woke the sleeping boy, the terrified boy who couldn’t move, against whose face the ghost molded like wet clay over a form, into whose ears the ghost whispered unknown threats before disappearing like snow melting upwards, backwards, into the hovering darkness.

And then again, on a rainy night. When I was older, and frozen in bed like a fish in an iced-through pond, when dripping blackness flowed from a hole in the world, there, over by my bookshelf, a coalescing darkthing that bull-rushed into me like a stormcloud slamming into a mountain, sank into me like a sacrificed prince settling into a peat bog’s soft death. The redblack molasses that flowed over my wide eyes, the world’s deep and terrible silence—not the rain’s teeth against the window, not the ceiling fan’s cyclic whir, not the old house creaking and popping in the night. Only blood rivering through my heart. 

And then there was this.

My wife woke me, long later. Moon like a tooth through the curtains, her still-sleeping eyes like shuttered windows, her arm like an arrow pointing to a corner darkness by the closet, a teeming caveblindness into which she told me to stare and see the thing watching us. Ice in my mouth, salt on my tongue, my jaw shot through with steel pins, her pointing hand suddenly a fist, a strong claw choking the silent air, the squirming lightlessness that suddenly seemed as empty as a throat full of nothing but air.


Thanks to the editors of Ligeia for including this poem in their Spring 2020 issue.

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