Tonight Your Ghost
Tonight your ghost will ask my ghost
Who put these bodies between us?
--Metric, “Calculation Theme”
We enter the cemetery to touch
the illegible names on stones,
quiet and damp to our skin
as cellars, even now, when
the brittle August grass
breaks under us like cereal.
Oak branches snap as squirrels
leap in fright, in play; teenagers
swerve their parents’ cars to the edges
where there are no plots.
We guess they stash drugs in the glove boxes,
undress each other, and we are right
without knowing if we are.
Decades have slipped from our lives
since we did the same, though it’s wrong
to say we are in mourning, even if
we are. I have imagined the two
of your exes who died by suicide
are the air wicking away our sweat,
are the birds the size of gargoyles
calling out for each other in the
voices of cats. That says something
about us, you say, but you don’t say
what I want. When high beams swoop
our path, they light animals preying
on each other. We feel afraid
of ourselves. We are never so ready
to run or to maul a pitiful body down
to bone, never ready. I know
what I want. I want what animals want
when they are threatened, when the light
has been dissolved. I am willing your mouth
to say, We will, to complete the sentence
with flesh, with impulse, with car windows
clouded with breath instead of weather.
The insects are violent in our ears.
You say if the gates are shut when we leave,
we will go around them, like ghosts.