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.

7 thoughts on “Ghost, with a Line from Porchia

  1. A breathtaking triumph of heartbreak laced with reverence and celebration! How you articulate such things so concicely and *precisely* I’ll never know, but my heart will be ever grateful for your gift, and my mind won’t cease to be blown!


  2. This one truly grabs me and pulls me in … no wondering what you might’ve been thinking … I still hear my mother’s voice in places she never entered, saying things she knew nothing of when she died in 1990, always pausing before finishing her sentence! That habit of hers drove us all crazy when in the room in person with her, forever asking “And …?” Now I can ask all I want, but she pauses where she pleases … I’m just grateful I can still hear her.
    My favorite line: “My fingers retrace your name in both sun and shade” (in sunny bright times and shady dark times, such as now.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother was a complicated person, whose influence I cannot escape. Not that I try. Funny, for years when she appeared in my dreams she refused to speak to me. But last year she said, in a broad, mid-western accent, “you could stand to lose some weight,” which is a phrase she never would have spoken. Her comment would have been something like “you looksa fat.” Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

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