A single deer stepped into a stillness and watched me: nothing need be explained. Given lilacs, lilacs disappear.
Here is the painted world, the ghost garden; our self behind a heap of apples, concealed. A spectral game of hide and seek. I will always love the way a lost word will come back, fanatic against the vanishing. In the avenue of trees, the haunt sings and it’s my music.
A little satin-like she entered the evening, life still there, upon her hair-- the musk of chestnuts in a house the wind owns.
Where the Alone lived, my ghost looked up and saw a feather blown between everyone’s bones.
I do not know what becomes of winter, gone as the moment begins to wink. The soul sleepwalks into a mirror--
one stepped in as one stepped out. Inside I am frosted; if I weep it’s for the rocking chair. Nothing left except light on your fur.
Like a pond in winter my hand is a method of gliding, a sonic residue, fragile as a child’s visible sorrow.
Near the treeline the lantern hung all winter; face with no face, a gleaming pebble in false sleep.
A ghost captured gives me hope, and also the darkness of books. Each has left something undone.
You were always exact to me. Stunned by the strange weather, in the peacefullest time, we said nothing.
The light is a rabbit-light, gone none could say since when. I will not speak to you again.
Sources: Claribel Alegría, “Rain,” Rae Armantrout, “Unbidden,” Linda Bierds, “The Ghost Trio,” Lucie Brock-Broido, “How Can It Be I Am No Longer I,” Emily Dickinson, [“One need not be a chamber”], John Donne, “The Apparition,” Carolyn Forché, “Sequestered Writing,” Lola Haskins, “Patsy Sees a Ghost,” Mark Irwin, “Ghost,” Christopher Kennedy, “Ghost in the Land of Skeletons,” Nathaniel Mackey, “Ghost of a Trance,” Eric Pankey, “Restless Ghost,” Edgar Allan Poe, “Lenore,” Lisa Sewell, “Letter from a Haunted Room,” Wallace Stevens, “A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts,” Keith Waldrop, “The Ghost of a Hunter,” Dara Wier, “Blue Oxen.”
-- Jennifer Moore was born and raised in Seattle. She is the author of The Veronica Maneuver (the University of Akron Press, 2015), and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Best New Poets, The Cincinnati Review, and elsewhere. An assistant professor of creative writing at Ohio Northern University, she lives in Bowling Green, Ohio.