For the Ghost in My Bed


Negotiating the sheets, playing my feet —
an instinctive prelude!  You’d been once
a wholly authentic person: fingernails, aquiline nose.  
Now there’s a chilling patience
to you: half-exposed, half-sparkling.
We build our nest like a sleeve of jazz.  There’s company
and a cake and some words no one
means or hears.  We speak a language
of soft bullets, a code of violet rats.  Where truth
is not dissolved it is kept fuzzy. You (my soft friend)
watch me eat.   Tonight overflows
with stars and wishes not for
the good to start happening but for
the bad to finish.  The scary may remain
with a person (however
discreet). I’d been lonely
a lot as god sent
very little.  There are those
in this bleeding world who need
ritual but now I have you
my ghost and we let
what’s terminal coexist.




The night of the party, at three am, nobody knows if you’re using the bathroom or lying in a ditch five hundred miles away.  You call 911 and hear she’s leaving home after living alone for so many years.  You call Sanctuary but you can’t use electricity today.  Shabbat Shalom.  The ditch looks like you can fit two or three people inside.  Writing this means you’re not healthy anymore.  It’s a pretty good party.  Everyone’s drinking gin buckets.  The last time they made gin buckets you lost your underwear.


Christine Reilly


Christine Reilly lives in New York and teaches writing at the Collegiate School.  She used to work at Tin House and Gotham Writers Workshop.  Christine has been published in over fifty journals.  She received my MFA from Sarah Lawrence and my BA from Bucknell.  

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