Letter to a Ghost. By Robert Okaji
Had I not dreamed your death, I would have praised this day.
Your name rests in a wooden box on a desk
in a room far away and twice as old as we were then.
My penance in this phase: to continue.
I gather words close and refrain from admissions.
The clock on the wall seldom chimes,
like one whose vows circumvent convenience, or
a shade allowing the barest sliver of light
through the window. That tock preceding
a long silence. Snow blanketing the mounded earth.
Your scent never lingers past sleep, where you remain.
At last I no longer covet those sheets you’ve shared.
Your name rests in a box. I gather words and refrain.