Holy Ghost People: A Bestiary
Because birds prefer darkness, the little dove
brooding in the center.
Because they live in any number of things:
an orchid, green flames, a window
it mistakes for the sky—
what is it, what just happened—
Because it is driven from place to place, its insignia painted above
each new door—an outline of white, down to its very quills, the head pushed
into the body upon impact, the gathered dust, the left-over dust.
Because it doesn’t belong to it, the bird, this ghost
sobbing beneath my window,
Because where you have touched me
you are not.
Because absence is the end of wanting. Because you are only a dream
or a sickness or
someone who likes to watch a creature
overwhelmed by its own begging, watching me be lost
for a while or the rest of my life.
Because the carpenter bee trapped in the house, its thorax polished to a black pitch, is
evidence of your writhe, its fleece worn away from its pacing at the glass, its
what faith then, what news—
Because waiting all day, what am I doing without you, what would I be?
Because you are suddener
Because you are more of it than ever I am to believe. Because there is more
than glass between the bird and its
shadow, the bee and its light—
what felt, what endured—
Because resistance leads only to more resistance, each animal, in its way, refusing to
move but into itself or some other, whether reflection or likeness or the ghostly food
you have us eat.
Because each life rises as it swarms and only the one who
once held it sees it depart. Because unwanted but once
I wait at the window for the world’s end
or how it begins.