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, now, sometimes 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 halyzhang.com. 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.