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Ghost Memories

By: Graciela Ayala


The soft glow of street lamps 

crawl through the blinds 

and mark my face and body

with black and white horizons 

The light attempted to fill the spaces

where the life had drained from my red eyes

My body laid as still as the silver stars outside

with arms and legs surrounded

by white remnants of the comfort I needed

Like ash blankets after a fire 

soot covering charred remains

snow white tissues 

attempted to keep me warm that night 


The hour my heart fell asleep

was from the exhaustion of chasing the departed 

With each rising breath 

my heart pulled my eyes lower 

Descending like a casket of what was


Like ice walking over a still river 

silver from my eyes swelled until it fell

Like a snowflake, gently descending

into the silver rays from the sky

whose bright celestial hands catch the tears

and absorb it into themselves

Collected tears from pain 

Will be used to bring life to something new


The number of apologies my ears bore from Them

Caused for silent excuses I needed to push further down 

Those days alone

they would desperately claw my throat 

as they tried to climb back 

To allow for another chance

For those who aren’t even there

Every kick, scream, and reach 

caused swollen red airways 

Bleeding until I couldn’t breathe 

couldn’t speak

Until my heart slowed and allowed the departed to die

With final words lost 

because the darkness does not listen 


Like rain extinguishing a fire

and allowing for scalding sprouts to grow 

Ghost lie everywhere in my home

By my door lies cold cracks and bangs of slamming doors

Hitting our hearts

And doors left open 

for those who left with no word

But still the silence deafens our ears 

Causing fractures that travel through our bodies

Erupting with cold that paralyzes

until we were strung up with raw

red eyes and swollen tongues

that learned not to speak for the sake of survival 


Ghosts by my window 

Play the warm melodies of yesterday 

flowing like my ribboned heart 

Red, orange, and blue

surrounding us as we dance 

Arms, hands, and feet moving to 

the beats from our connected hearts

sending out life and blood to our memories

Bright white teeth with crooked smiles 

Replay their alluring song 

to brighten our ghost memory


There were twenty rings on my charred trunk 

when I said goodbye 

To the ghosts in my home

Memories left standing in their patches of warm and cold

must be left to burn in order to build anew

Ashes to ashes 

Fire to stars 

But the ghost memories still call out to me 

And ask me to reach towards the departed once again

Their empty mouths still whisper my past to try and get me to stay 

Before they can truly die

they plead out their one request 

For the ones who caused their tears,

to be the one to wipe them  

just one more time …