The Ghost’s Departure

By | 31 October 2021

I prepare for its departure. Spring is here;
it has been here. I swept the clumps of pollen and tree buds
out of my corners.
The more time we spend outside
the less paranoid I feel. We all know it is time
for the ghost to leave—even the baby has taken to shouting
bye-bye at the empty apartment
when we go. I don’t want her to remember me
this way. Neither do I want to be erased.
I must stop conflating the ghost with my father.
Wishing my daughter to hold memories of him
will not make it so. We ride the carousel together.
She sits with her father on the bench, and I choose a horse
that moves up and down without getting anywhere. She looks on
with delight. The faces of these wooden animals appear
frozen in motion: a lip curled back revealing white, white teeth.
Hair that mimics the breeze, taut muscles
in the legs and flank. Are my memories in motion? Are any of us?
I read a theory in which time is not motion but another dimension
that we can travel up, down, backward, forward. A dimension that is still,
can be looked at from an outward vantage. Even if this is so,
we are moving within it, seemingly in one direction. No matter
how much I’d like to believe otherwise.

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