by Neil Barrett
She Keeps his Ghost around the House See her head gently convulse, the subtle twitch, as if the air conditioned cold could rustle all of her more than it does these store-bought flower’s drying leaves. The petals have already lost all feeling, but she still hears him in her sleep. She asks for him. The nurses tell me when he passed that she still argued with the pictures of him on her walls, complained that he had left her here with bills and aches, dishes mixed with unrelenting pains. Now, no anger’s left. The TV's on. The knowledge that he's gone sings like a snake from other rooms. Looking at the apple trees they planted in the yard, she tells him, Save a couple jars before the Fall to make preserves. It’s possible the dead do sing more to the body than the mind, tightening the eyelids, loosening the skin or whistling through bone. If she could really hear him sing, one last time, I bet she’d tell him every step that only cowards try to make it down to hell all on their own.