Living with Ghosts

This poem is a tritina, a form inspired by the sestina (which is an absurdly complex form.) I intended for this piece to be a companion to “How to Haunt a House,” which I wrote for NaPoWriMo two years ago (almost to the day, in fact!) I thought, “Hey, that was a sestina, this one can be a tritina, the forms are linked, the subject matter is related, and so forth. I’m so clever!”

Except “How to Haunt a House” was actually a pantoum, not a sestina. I wrote a few sestinas back in my grad school days (I believe one of them was about zombies? Or cannibalism? Something about flesh-eating, at any rate,) but there are actually none on this blog.


Anyway, please enjoy this tritina!

I felt your touch on my mind this morning,

Your fingers running down my cheek, gentle

And sweet and loving. Then the claws came out.


Walk the streets. This city is something out

Of a nightmare pop-up book. The morning

Can’t dispel the dream, the sun too gentle.


Same old memories, echoes as gentle

As a sledgehammer to the face. Out, out,

Damned spot. Let me be done with my mourning.


You were the more gentle by far, creature of the morning, out and apart and above. I haunt myself.


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