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He still lives with demons
that once held him tenderly
when no one would
be able to find the words
to say that fill the glass
as it is tipped back
and slowly emptied
of the liquor that stirs
memories from the headwind
that blew the lovers' hair back
on the drive through autumn
windy, windy mountain paths
as another Queen song plays
on the radio and the raindrops
on the windshield tap along
with fingertips against the steering wheel
to Freddy Mercury and shared heartbeats.

The truth is he is lying
there like an open wound
as he begins to measure self-worth
with texting tempo and memories
of last summer being too hot
to cuddle with one another
though it was more than enough
to hold feet under the thin sheets
that remember the glass
once again filling with words
as another drink is emptied
and his head burst through clouds
leaving him to hydroplane
through windy, windy mountain paths
as the raindrops on the windshield
applaud with the demons
that beckon tenderly for his return.
An early, gentle breeze billows
the curtains and lilts a rose that blushes
from the memories of last night’s love.

A hush of air teases a white shirt
with a strawberry kiss on the collar,
still draped across the back of the chair
where it was carelessly tossed the night before.

Sweet sunbeams tug linen sheets and smile
warmly and sweetly behind the ears.
Good morning, love.

Safety and silence, slowly breathing
within an embrace in the only moment
that has ever caressed like this.
Draft 3
The new dawn is breaking
into our home, into our room
through our window to take you
away, to take you away from me again,
to package you up in a suit and tie.
The light is invading our space
illuminating your scruffy morning face
that I won’t see again for a little while.

I pretend that if I ask you to stay,
to stay for me, to stay with me here,
here where the smoothly flowing cold sea
of sheets between my fingers fail to fill
the spaces the way your warm hands do,
that you’ll assure me that you won’t be gone
for too long, that we’ll be together again soon,
that everything will be fine, right before you pull
your body away from me and let go of my hand
because I do not, will not let go of my own accord.
Draft 4.
In a way, you, my dear friends, are in the company of a ghost.
Why is this, you ask? Or perhaps you don’t ask,
perhaps you do not care at all.
If you are expecting dripping ghostly green ectoplasm
or a white bed sheet with holes cut out for the eyes,
then you, my dear friends, have the wrong expectations.
You are wrong, yet
are still in the company of a ghost. A ghost
holds on long after his time, longing
for more time here with his dear friends to feel
loving arms around his neck, arms that are slipping, arms that shouldn’t let go, mustn’t let go,
arms that continue
slipping, those arms are gliding off too quickly, too soon, those arms.

Those arms are gone.
Those arms are no longer holding
our dear friend. He cannot let go
because those once loving arms
have let me go.

This is why you, my dear friends,
are in the company of a ghost.
Updated 2 August 2013
Your hands feel the cold stone
of this textured tower wall.
You look up and see
an arched, hollow window
gaping like a moaning train tunnel,
darker inside than the moonless sky.

Shivering and enveloped in the autumn air
that pierces the bridge of your nose as you turn
your hooded head away and take a muddy step
back toward the woods you braved
on this chilly, moonless autumn night,
the impending fog before you thickens.
The last touch of an almost starry sky
disappears behind the rolling black clouds.
Updated 2 August 2013
I still remember when you first aired
your series premiere. I quickly fell in love
and tuned in every night. I certainly had
no need to record the action,
the comedy, the drama.
Reruns were nostalgic memories
of the new episodes that I never missed.

You couldn’t find the right time slot for me
and we grew apart. It wasn’t the same.
You seldom aired until you stopped airing altogether.
How do you feel knowing that you are my cliffhanger
ending to a canceled show? I could shy away
from television altogether or find a new favorite show
and appreciate what you had to offer when you were around.

Maybe I’ll read a book instead.
I am walking away from the static
rain on the screen. I still remember
the series premiere when you first aired.
The ceiling of the grand ballroom
Opens as if it were taking in a deep breath.
All of the golden oil painted negative space
And striped Moorish arches allow the chandelier to shine
Blood red.

The pirates hung from the ceiling,
Each with his wrists bound to his ankles,
Festooned in the shape of a teardrop
Or a bell or a drop of blood.
The Jolly Roger slowly turns
Without even a slight breeze or breath,
Dangling from a single chord of rope.

How jolly Roger used to be before the navy came,
Smiling at the sinking enemy ships set on fire by black powder.
Perhaps he still smiles, even through the darkness,
Even through the gaping, gasping
Cannonball holes you can almost hear moan
On the side of his ship far below the surface of the sea,
And hangs high and proud on his ship’s tallest mast.

Perhaps the pirates hang high too, robust and glorious
Like their billowing flag, shameless and naked
With nothing to hide and everything to be proud of, a trophy
Not for a queen and her navy
But for themselves and the successes of their wanderlust.
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