Ghosts can whisper into key holes
& ignore the smell of flowers --
licking bricks & quill tips
because ignoring is harder than ignorance to pull off.
My ghost has wrenches hanging from her neck
spectacles close to her eyes, she pulls away to focus.
She can see the truth
but there’s a light fueled by gas
that keeps her awake at night.
Can my ghost see clearly
through her stained-glass window?
The morning sunlight refracts
across her cheeks, her hands.
She grips a wrench & shifts her eyes
to her own specters.
Are we a collective ghost?
We, as women
who fold our thoughts into drawers --
tucked between stockings & braziers.
Covert & forgotten.
My ghost has a past
among men in muddy boots
& drafting pencils perched on their ears.
She’s hidden in the smoke-filled parlor
surrounded by starched shirts & cigars
wet from chapped lips.
Am I becoming a shadow
mortally attached to a man
cloaked in his own vanity?
Haunted by the smell of panic soaked in honey
& then dipping my feet in it.
I’m in an empty room, curled on the floor
salted with sweat & tears pooling on amber surfaces.
Aching for my ghost who isn’t scared of the water
she dreamed of drowning in.
Worn out from holding up crumbling arches --
the bridge she’s broken herself to build.
But my ghost still carries a rooster.
Even in death, she’s got victory in her lap.
& we are writing at the same desk,
reaching for each other’s fingertips.
Marissa Forbes began writing again after a 10 year hiatus late in 2020, she has since published short stories in "The Dillydoun Review," "Twenty Bellows," "Millennial Pulp," "Exit 7," plus poetry in "Dreamstones of Summer," "Prometheus Dreaming," & "The C.R.W.P Collection: The Story Behind the Poems." Marissa is a student in Community Literature Initiative and is editing her full length poetry collection about Emily Roebling called "Bridging The Gap: Poems & Ethos for Emily Warren Roebling." She has resided all over the country but found her way back to Colorado where she lives a colorful life with her two sons, dog, and cat. Her works can be found at marissaisch.com and she can be found on Instagram at @word_nerd_ris.