Issue #3 // Leaving is a Haunted House // Melissa Newman-Evans

Leaving a place you love turns it into a haunted house,
and the morning will never come. You can tell yourself

          the house is settling. That there are no footstep on the stairs.
          The draft can be fixed with plastic on the windows
          and you will do it tomorrow. You can tell yourself it’s not
          an open door that you will walk through willingly, even though

                    you know it is. You opened the door yourself. You
                    have seen the ghost, womanshaped shadow, the lace veil
                    of absence, turning her face, like the moon, toward you.
                    She has walked in step with you from the other side

                              of windows. Every friend now calls you by her name,
                              a mirror, a long embrace. A tightening across the eyes,
                              hands full of the the last time they expect to touch
                              your skin, looking up and around you to trace

                    the space you will leave behind when you go. This is
                    the ghost haunting your home, and you know
                    you cannot appease the thing. It is going to pace the hall
                    until you leave, and then fade slow as a scar, before

          everyone’s eyes. The home will turn to a house, haunted.
          Soon, when you dream of her and wake crying, someone
          new will come running, someone who has never wrapped
          your face around goodbye. They will come too late,

and your hands will be empty, fistfuls of ringing air, saying,
it was right here, I saw it. I swear to God she was right here.


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