Morning Ghosts

My day begins in the dark,
stumbling from bed to
bath, trying to avoid 
the small ghosts crossing
the kitchen, white streaks
only I can see
as they speed through
on their way to
wherever they stay in daylight.
It’s an old house,
with a tilted floor made
for crooked dancing;
they run past me
with and against
the slant. I suspect
they’ve been up all night.
I used to fear they were 
dread insects until I realized
they were taller and whispered 
as they ran. My two
nonchalant cats never pay them
any mind; I think they are all
gaslighting me and are in 
cahoots to make me see
how silly I am to believe
anything this early in the morning
such as

they’re the ghosts
of all the cats who’ve been here
in the century since this place was built

or 

those are the words
I must pin down today
when I get to my desk at last

or

to discover something
magical in the wreck of 
living here 
is what I was born to do

but when I come out of the bathroom
to turn on the coffee maker
they’re gone, and now I have to feed
the real cats and begin to sink
toward suffering as I do daily,
eventually ending up on my knees,
blind, broke, and broken,
sobbing over my failures,
wondering how any of this
will get repaired before I pass;
thinking that perhaps
I might become
a shrunken spirit myself,
trapped here 
fighting the tilt
of this ruined kitchen floor
before dawn every morning
till even the building itself
is only someone else’s bad memory
darting through their day
before it begins.

 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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