Jul/Aug 2009 Poetry Special Feature

Ghost Story

by Bob Bradshaw

Ghost Story

When I first moved in there were rumors,
how a young woman would meander

the halls. When my boyfriend heard
of our unrequited ghost our sex got kinkier.
He was determined to pique her envy.

He would surprise me in the shower,
on the linoleum of the kitchen floor.

A perfume bottle shattered in the bathroom
as he soaped my breasts.

My clothes were flung from my closet
when we groped on the bed. The fan whirred

like a field of locusts. I could have mistaken
the gushing in the pipes for sobbing.

A mirror shattered in the middle of the night
like a window under intense heat,
the daggers of glass red like madder.

Radiators couldn't expel the chill.
After a week our vases held only thorns.

To conceal our love we lay at night
side by side, like knives in a drawer.

We never kissed again in that house:
the scent of spilled perfume
would bloom, a scent

thick as blood


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