Ghosts

Ghosts

October is cruel with cold. It’s a month spent swaddled
in thick-knit scarves and woolly hats, hugging
coffee mugs to my chest like new borns.

In the coffee-shop buzz I shut my eyes, the world drops dead.
My sight comes through the hum of espresso machines,
early-morning chit-chat, the smell of ground beans;

I picture Aberystwyth, tear its people apart seam by seam,
pierce their skins, stitch them together with the nib of my pen,
tattoo their limbs with words and mount them.

Across the room, somebody tells her boyfriend ‘my nerves are bad,
yes bad,’ begs him to stay over a chai latte, frets over an essay
due in the day before.

A new mother stumbles through the doorway, catching pram wheels
on the corner and swears, remembering too late about the tiny
shellfish ears she has sworn to protect.

Outside, a man with nothing to his name but a carrier bag
and a bottle of paint stripping spirit stumbles by,
his own sight as blurred as mine at 11am.

I’m Emily. I’m Nobody. I’m a gun loaded with vowels and consonants.
I am a poet and a writer – I suppose – but it may not be enough.
My days are spent beyond calibration, flitting from one place to another,

though barely moving; I wear nothing but my notebook.
On days like today I watch the bobbing ghosts, listen, repeat,
and think about poetry, a self-indulgent art.

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