back to issue 5    -    previous poem / next poem

to my ghost by the sound

Hal Y. Zhang

tell me a secret. death
has come and gone, carving
off your tender flesh. surely
the truths hang limber from
your desiccated bones. once
there may have been a small
opaque pang they would call
love, that rarefied thing,
esoterica I found on your
hidden shelves. it was the
butterfly-slipped ache
in breastbone when you
smiled at another, how I
misdiagrammed every
gesture as spines gashing
runes against inside skin.
you always knew but only
prescribed wisdoms, tang
of yellowed pages burning
poisoned shame. I only knew
when tracing over your left
things, the scent of your gaze
lingering on thoughts of me.
still I dream a thousand
permutations what
you felt for
me then,
we entwine in this
wordless space and I
taste your voice in fluttering
grass but it may only be raw
desperation. here at my
brocade’s end my threads
are stone, the waters churn
so far below. I want to lick
your sweet regret off the
pounded salt left in finger
crevices on the cliffs. I want
to be the wind skeleton in
your molecules of smoke,
no questions,
only air

Hal Y. Zhang is a lapsed physicist who splits her time between the east coast of the United States and the Internet, where she writes at Her memory-and-loss chapbook AMNESIA will be published by Newfound, and her collection Goddess Bandit of the Thousand Arms is forthcoming from Aqueduct Press.