To a Gentleman Who Is Visited

December 6, 2011


Sandi Leibowitz is a native New Yorker who writes fiction and poetry for children and adults, mostly with her ears tuned towards other worlds. Her works have appeared in Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Niteblade’s special poetry edition, Aoife’s Kiss, New York Quarterly, Highlights, and Cricket.

This ghost was anorexic
before the term was vogue,
so that is why your find your fridge
sighing its sour belly like a cave of winds,
your sesame noodles finished
before you’re even home.
She eats so heartily now.

This ghost was told to disown and deny
her body, thin as rain,
and that is why she hopes
you will ignore her soft steps
heading to your bed, but not
the cool touch of unseen thigh
against your thigh
when you are shaking off your dreams.

This ghost was told
she had no voice for singing,
her hands were a cursed clumsiness,
and that is why you find
the pages of your Chopin ripped to snow,
the strings of your piano curdling out of tune
and yet, some mornings, Mozart sings
from keys now strangely whole.

This ghost was forbidden to select
the objects she might love the most
and that is why you discover
only your best silk shirts and ties
coiled like cut tongues on the closet floor,
your silver cuff links arranged
like prayer stones from an ancient rite.

This ghost was taught not to trouble
her pretty head with books
and that is why the pages of your New Yorker
turn by themselves on your nightstand,
and books disappear, then find themselves
returned to odd places,
dog-eared at the delectable passages.

But why me? you ask, why me?
Such blue eyes, she might answer,
or perhaps it is only your high ceilings,
wide closets, Hudson view,
that keep her here, somewhere
she would have chosen to live
if she’d been given choices.

© Sandi Leibowitz

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