We all want to leave a ghost behind, to believe
that our passing from this world will leave such a vacuum
that some remnant of what we were had to stay behind
that the walls and the floors of our house
take enough interest in our activities
to hold the energy of our traumas to replay
for future audiences.
There have to be ghosts, because we are so important
to ourselves and the people we surround ourselves with
there had to be at least some tiny flicker left behind
or some imposing force that lets you know
somebody else once lived in this house
someone who’s no longer here.
If you stay in this room for too long
you will become a part of my fairy tale
initially cast in the role of a prince or a villain
doomed to eventually shrink to the status of a talking mouse
or an abandoned spinning wheel. This is what happens
when people let me write them into my life.
There is only room for one main character
in my story, and I can’t afford the time to write in the supporting cast
as anything but flat and one-dimensional.
Holly Day (hollylday.blogspot.com) has been a writing instructor at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Grain, and Harvard Review, and her newest poetry collections are Into the Cracks (Golden Antelope Press), Cross Referencing a Book of Summer (Silver Bow Publishing), The Tooth is the Largest Organ in the Human Body (Anaphora Literary Press), and Book of Beasts (Weasel Press).