A Lovely Ghost Sings a Haunting Thing at Her Own Reflection

by Darryl Price


We've come this far. That's all we know. We've watched

others reach their abrupt ends. They've given us this exact

moment and we've taken it from them, sometimes without thinking.

It's time for the next communication. I know what concern

is when it is all you can do, all you

can think and feel, but also everything you miss about

certain summer stars, certain wild winds, certain blowing grasses, those

certain familiar changing pools you must step in to reach

your arms around someone at last again and again. This

original cool depth stays with you like an expanding emptiness


that widens over time into a great basin of loneliness.

You have no choice but to sit down in it

eventually and sob out the bitterness or give up completely.

They don't understand this any better now than they did

before you were taken by a lovely ghost on a

hill, or glimpsed the truth of your own hollow heart in

a stone blockaded window, or brought to your senses like an

inviting sunset only in a sound like a dream. These things always

hurt, but still they will chide you for not playing

the latest game as it is written down. The one


thing they hate above all others is when someone doesn't

believe in their Holiday spirits. I should know. If what

the sea is when the only other person you can

be with who doesn't care about your impending health issues

because in the moment you are together there is only

the issue of true happiness and how to spend it

wants nothing more than your company at any given time. 

Let's go together to that spot. I know what loss

is —an ancient city, a cricket's leg, a circle. And

above all that, a great swirl of birds doing nothing.  

Bonus poem:

The Search for Falling Streamers

by Darryl Price


I search for the music, but I get in the

way. I search for the music, but I don't know

why. I'd like to get rid of this aftertaste. Replace

it with the stink and noise of something burning in

just this moment and nowhere else, a candle of our

own choosing. These things are all like small vacations taken

on the wings of moths. By morning you have to

swear to yourself that they were real and not something


you heard against the pillow as you were nodding off.

I search for the music, but all I get is

an ache that punctuates my thinking like a sailboat so

far out to sea all I can see is my

belief in sailboats wrapped up in some glittering spot on

the bouncing horizon like a long forgotten dream.  You can't

keep calling that a lie. It's more than that, although

the definitions do seem to dance through the dawning curtains


like falling streamers, one after the other, until you'll take

any one of them over all of them at once.

I search for the music, but it keeps reminding me

that it no longer resembles the living, so what am

I to do with all these leftover shells? I don't

want to start a hut at my age. You've seen

it all before anyway. The sea coughs up its tablets

to anyone willing to swallow them, but it makes no


guarantee to the bridesmaid. Perhaps an alliance of some sort—

between skin and sky? No, that's been done. The only

thing that ever accomplished was to peel away the top

layer of meaning and leave everyone feeling raw about the

latest same old weather we're having. No, we're going to

have to do better than that. The poem we're in

deserves its own music. And that means we have to

get up and dance to whatever noise makes us happiest.