Like a ghost she speaks in a whisperand her whispery breath flows
across my face like a desert wind, hot
whistling over carven stone and downthrough narrow ravines
a whisper that makes my cheek itch
if you scratch it it’ll only get worseinfected with some flesh-eating
virus and one word
that keeps repeating: respiration…breathe in, breathe out
she murmurs blow out until your face
turns purple – when the spots in youreyes begin to seem like old friends
you’ll know you’re almost there.
DAY BY CREEPING DAY
Day by creeping day it gets just a little more difficultto explain my ever-multiplying little idiosyncrasies:
no morning cup of tea coffee cocoa and just how longhas it been since you last had a bath, when did
you last wash your hair, brush your teeth, use deodorantand why ever do you make that face when I sit
down next to you and then scrunch away like you’reafraid of my touch? And how should I answer?
Should I speak to you of how I bite back my screamsat the gurgling sounds emanating from your stomach,
at the thought of what goes down the drain after you’vehad your bath, at the mere sight of your feet dragging
dragging on the carpet – for the love of Jesus, I can feelthe static lightning running madly over your flesh –
Keep your questions and your sparks and your hatefulfluids well away, can’t you understand my internal
parts aren’t rated for such an environment? That deadand caking skin is my only insulation? In my private
fantasies I imagine a house scrubbed of foul contaminates,no bathroom, no kitchen, no faucets or drains or toilets
circulating their sludge, no bugs, no breath, no you –only bare formica surfaces and positive barometric
pressure generating a pleasant pop and rattle in my earswhich are dry as a bone and clean as a whistle.
Baltimore native Jeffrey Park lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school and teaches business English to adults. His poems have appeared in Requiem, Deep Tissue, Danse Macabre, Crack the Spine, Right Hand Pointing and elsewhere, and his digital chapbook, Inorganic, has recently been published online by White Knuckle Press. Links to all of his published work can be found at www.scribbles-and-dribbles.com.