I have been putting out a pound of flesh
and a quart of blood for the
ghost in the attic.
I would rather be haunted,
than vacate these twisted bones.
I will keep paying the price
in order to be here,
even while the poltergeist takes the
door knobs and shatters
glass in my hallways.
I dutifully tweeze the biting shards from
the soles of my feet, I wrap them tenderly
and keep walking up and down the steep
stairs because there is clearing to be done.
The ghost scrawls messages
whenever another payment is due,
"You can love, but you’ll have to ache."
"You can rest, but you’ll have to break first."
I chew on my gratitude like the first bite of my last meal,
I imbibe my relief like it is my last sip of my first drink.
My head swims with it, my body is lifted and it
feels like the comfort of floating,
but the ceiling is just as unforgiving
As the rest of this house.
The fall is sudden and it bruises.
Sometimes I write my own messages,
I can live
I can live
I can live.
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