Ghost, with a Line from Porchia


Ghost, with a Line from Porchia

In my dreams you manifest in a younger form.

If I were to give you life, what could I give you?

Your hands never touched these walls, yet you inhabit them.

As my language inters you, I am absorbed in yours.

Some gifts are simply not proffered, others are released.

My fingers retrace your name in both sun and shade.

The rain taps out regrets, regrets on the metal roof.

Dim spirit, faint soul. Root-land. Shoal. Mother.

Each visit signals the darkness waiting.

Your battle with language, with silence, invoked.

I stretch the word and weave this dirge for you.

* * *

Note: “If I were to give you life, what could I give you?is from Antonio Porchia’s Voices, translated by W.S. Merwin.

“Ghost, with a Line from Porchia” first appeared in Underfoot in October 2017.

27 thoughts on “Ghost, with a Line from Porchia

  1. Drew me right in … an understood “haunting”. Things never spoken (for whatever reason) take on new significance, proportions when one (potential speaker or potential listener) is gone. “The rain taps out regrets, regrets on the metal roof.” Indeed. And beneath those regrets is the nagging “What if?” … wondering if silence were perhaps best …

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This makes me think about communication, and how language can be an imperfect medium. Our regret for words left unspoken is like death. But words also have the potential of being life-giving gifts. The last line is my favorite because it reminds me that expressive, linguistic art like songs or poetry can help to heal our grief.

    Liked by 1 person

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