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June Naps in the Town Cemetery by Jessi Harrison

A cricket follows

you into the house.

                               You do not

                               know this at first.

 

But the echoed chirping of trapped

desperation haunts its way

into your dreams.

 

                                 Funny, on how a bad

night, your bed sheets become a blade.

Your sweat becomes the guillotine. And

your dreams become an awakening

into the afterlife.

 

You watch the way

                                 I breathe.

Like an exoskeleton picking

out and rearranging each rib

bone with every rise of the chest.

 

In your sleep – you speak to me

in riddles. Like you can’t afford

tongues. Like the devil

has been cleansed from inside

you. Like you gave up

poison years ago.

 

                                 Yet here we lie.

Dirtying things that do not deserve

stains. Carving our names

into the trunks of trees just to prove

physicality. Knocking over grave

markers in the cemetery like the

answer to every secret

is in the haunting,

                                 not in the ghost.