1996, New York City

The ghosts

The ghosts
I can feel them come in.
They open the door,
show themselves in.
Don’t even say hi.
They just sit down on the couch
pull out a cigarette
and fill the room up with smoke,
the smoke comes to me
says “I’ll hide you
cover you up so you can be one of us.”
My skin crawls
off my bones
onto the floor
and out the door,
leaving nothing but a skeleton
in front of their eyes.
The ghosts come up to me taking,
always taking;
asking
and I can’t say no.
They pick my bones.
pick ’em clean:
bleached white in the gas heater.
I look frantically
for herb
liquor
beer
anything.
It doesn’t matter what.
I need something to ease the pain,
the scream.

I cut my knuckles off one by one,
Stick needles In my veins:
a sacrifice to the gods.
however the gods don’t listen.
They don’t understand.
They only laugh,
so hard the ground shakes and opens up
letting more demons out.
The demons encircle me,
run me around the house,
searching
for some defense,
some place to hide;
then I hear music,
a pounding I my head.
I want to sing it;
but the words stay in my head
and I scream
until my lungs are dry of air.
The pounding continues.
I cannot sleep.
Please let me sleep.
I am.
These ghosts are not.
I am real.
These ghosts are not.
But they seem real,
coming up to me
sucking my blood from my veins.
“Open yourself to me.” You ask.
I want to,
but you will leave;
because the ghosts will attack you soon.
Attack.
Eat.
Attack.
Help me if you want.

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