Ghosts | Teen Ink


August 5, 2023
By Anna_Grace GOLD, New Paltz, New York
Anna_Grace GOLD, New Paltz, New York
13 articles 0 photos 0 comments

She dresses like the absence of light, at the window like a prayed-for blight,

I can’t tell if her eyes are poison green or sunset orange.

She floats an inch above the ground, leaving no trail to be found,

Vanishing into the waiting mists 

My beautiful, decrepit ghost, bathed in her golden glow, 

Am I wrong for begging you to haunt?

Lips twisted into smirks, from the moors where she lurks,

For she entwines me in raven arms so gaunt.

Perhaps a narrowed eye leads to a grabbed wrist, then to gardens built for trysts

Silvered serpents’ fire licking at our heels

A rose’s thorns drip with honeyed blood, until someone screams, “enough,”

Like sapphire scales the second skins peel

At midnight come the hands on mine, at once forgetting dark, forgetting time,

Forgetting we are not light as two feathers

On and on ‘til three we waltz, wearing grooves into iron waterfalls

Until our four feet become leather 

In these halls so hallowed

Paper mache turns to gold,

For holding my hand are the shadows

Of the ghosts

She leaves me scrawls on parchment scrolls, ‘til she grabs my arm for a stroll,

Out of a ballroom guarded by the pearl pink wraiths

Perhaps you’d swear your silence then, but I was never one to play pretend

I was never one to argue with fate.

The crescent moons that dot her arms seem to signal what will soon alarm

A raucous crowd; they call me crazy for believing 

The gowns are slick as untouched ice; the banshees silent for a price

Sometimes you can see their teeth gleaming

On black and white tiles polka dotted with hairpin-drop denial

Snap heels like a tap dancer’s last hurrah

And if someone hangs by a magenta thread, soon they hang by their scarlet neck.

For who among us doesn’t eat lucky rabbit’s feet raw?

At five a.m., the dawn will breech, the house is full of dying shrieks,

And she whispers like six o’ clock strands of hair

Perhaps at seven, dressed in white, you’ll find you can’t turn back time

And what you ate last scratches in despair

Fainting in the waiting shallows.

On sand the sunlight bleeds gold,

For holding my hand are the shadows 

Of the ghosts.

She whispers, “Take my hand my darling, spin me like a sunrise starling,

Let the rain simply drip off your back.

When the dawn comes my dear, close your eyes against the fear

I promise they don’t know the half.”

Whispers, “Then it’s time my love, to take off the lilac gloves,

And seal up the violet gowns for five to twelve

Pin your locks into a choking braid, pin the ghostly veil above your face,

And call for me when you think you’ve reached hell.”

Whispers, “Walking with him down that aisle, look at me and fake a smile,

Remember ‘round your neck the silver locket,

Look up at the moon’s crescent phase, and don’t you dare forget my face,

Then at dark jump out the windows like a rocket.”

Her shivering form waits just beyond the sealed silver gates

That only a nine tailed trickster spirit could best

In the morning light, ten and eight winters fall off like snapping splinters 

Why they chose eleven is anybody’s guess

Yet there we bolt, as a square noon shot of an old crossbow

Love me, lover, or let me go.

Kiss me, darling, in this golden glow.

For holding me close, out of the shadows 

Is my ghost.

The author's comments:

Ghosts is a poem about queerness hiding in plain set and is (loosely) set a few hundred years ago. It is about a noblewoman with a servant girl as her lover, who is betrothed to be married to a man she does not love, and she decides to run away with her.

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