Sharon Kraus


bye bye smoke
                   spoken to the lifting, watered
                                     air from the spout the
                                         gone sabbath wick
                                             I've said,
             Is there any such thing?
                    but/therefore his interest in ghosts :
                                                                       wisp    drift
                                                                             (water that is not
                                                                                itself, though you are
                                                                                  told otherwise). Only the
                                                                                    sufferer can see one, for example;
                                                                                      only the still-suffering dead can make
                                                                                         such noise. [He cannot bear watching
                                                                                          me hold another baby, despite repeated
                                                                                          exposures. The child wants to take in (soak
                                          ;                                                )all care]    babychildbaby    wordscrywords
                                                                                           Wishing to speak to a someone now   absent
                                                                                          : a holding of mere air        For solace I ask of
                                                                                          the person I birthed  (he is drawn to that which
                                                                                          frightens and  to that which cowersyetspeaks)
                                                                                        He prefers making his own stories now; once
                                                                                      uponatime there was a  Mommy, a Daddy, a
                                                                                 child, and a not-nice Ghost        who ate people!
                                                                             Another parent accepting death in wartime An-
                                                                         other found breathing beneath rubble, on the
                                                                 sixth day. The husband spills seed on her belly.
                                                                The cut-glass sphere breaks open the light. Rain-
                                                              bows -volving on the walls. Things existing
                                                            Not existing. Wished-for. Despite.




Among the events referred to here: the lighting of a Yahrzeit candle, the Iranian earthquake, my son's fourth birthday, the constant presence of our current war, repeated demands for readings of Georgie and the Noisy Ghost.