An Incomplete History of Ghosts
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An Incomplete History of Ghosts

I have always been afraid   of ghosts. It is not just me:     my mother is the same, and hers.

A hereditary fear perhaps,   encoded somewhere in colonial     architecture. As a child I never

walked alone into unlit   basement rooms, hands feeling     around door jambs for a light switch

instead. Now, alone in my own   bedroom I try not to think of what     (or who) might have eyes in the dark.

I wish you were here to distract   me. When I think of those nights     you laid beside me in this room

I most remember your irises,   the kind of gray I expect to find     beneath glaciers: cloud-mottled and

speckled with ten million years   of prehistoric dirt, ivory skeletal     river beds, bones. They are that

cobweb kind of gray—   my great-grandmother’s stories,     how memory is fuzzy, almost invisible.

I recall my palms on your warm   chest, your unsettled eyes: these ghosts     in the room—the singing radiator

in the corner, how winter   night, lonely and quivering,     watches me from the window. [End Page 32]

Alexandria Delcourt

Alexandria Delcourt received her MFA from the Stonecoast MFA Program in 2014. She teaches Creative Writing and English at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her work has appeared in Written River, Poetry Quarterly, As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, Kalyani Magazine, Aster(ix), Profane, and other publications.

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