To My Ghost

— Sebastian Merrill


You bloom in the air

                                    when our father utters
                        the half-halted phrase of your name,
                                                            the exhalation of ha—
            cut off by a quick revision to my name.

                                                            My man’s name.

            You shimmer in pronouns,

                                    in the half-said shhhh of she, in the red
                        edge of her slipping
                                                into the sibilance of his.

When our father calls me                    sweetie or honey,
            it’s not me he calls to
                                                            it’s you.

                                                you (myself)

            you (my lost)

                                                                                    you (my ghost)

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