but I was also told they act as an open door
for ghosts to possess you. That must be why
I can’t stop shaking and I’ve stopped eating
and I hardly leave my room, where it’s coldest.
That must be why, when I do leave,
I drift from room to room, through doors,
through walls, through floors, through time
— it doesn’t make a difference. That must be
why nothing makes a difference.
That must be why I call my mom every night
— to remind myself I’m still alive, to remind
someone I’m still alive. That must by why,
when I talk, my voice is spectral and slow,
cold molasses caterwauls, my tongue moving
on its own, forming someone else’s words.
That must be why messages and calls have gone
unanswered, seances with no response. That must
be why awake shares lineage with a wake, why
a poem is not unlike a eulogy. That must be why
a haunt is also a habit, why habits are harder
to break than begin, why a habit is something
to wear, why this ghost is wearing me.
Christina Ellison is an MFA candidate at Sam Houston State University, an Editorial Fellow at the Texas Review Press, and managing editor of The Measure at SHSU. Her stories appear in Humid 14 and 15. She lives in Spring, Texas and has a knack for potholder loom weaving.