Jan/Feb 2012 Poetry

Two Poems

by Ivy Grimes

One Type of Ghost

Ghost don't only
inhabit houses.
They are outside too, and not only
in dank backyards full of vines
and gates and party ashes,
not only hanging from balconies.
They are found outside
of midnights in empty stables
and abandoned sheds.

Even in a field, the kind you like,
where the grass is uncut
and snakethick, full of pin-sized flowers
and enough butterflies,
some ghosts like it too.
Some ghosts, like you,
choose not to pursue terror.

If there were no night,
would there be fewer horrors?
Ask the ghosts,
but do not ask the ghosts
who haunt beaches,
who climb citrus trees,
who follow rabbits and mailmen.
When surprised by something evil
in their path, they flee.

They take long ways around broken mansions
and abandoned railroad cars
where they vaguely believe
something bad once happened.


Arriving at the Desert

In the desert's parking lot,
you climb on top of your car
and jump up and down, pretending
to ride a giant armadillo.
Ride to the furrow, where it's cool.
Ride to where the brush takes over.
Or stay. Find every human use
for the cactus. If you are native
to the desert, you might see the desert
as dead. Or resting.
The armadillo is easily scared
and then its haunch is almost its head.
Your reflexivity keeps you safe
and scared. The time will come when you
will turn on yourself.
In a small town, you carry a knife.
In a large town, you carry a gun.
In the desert, you are carried.
You are not safe. You are aqua.
You are evaporating. It is hailing.
Nothing here is afraid of you.


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