You believed in ghosts no more than love’s
laughing stars on the ceiling, your whole arm
a glittering chandelier, miles of spine
snaking the twisting girls, bare-legged
and asking you to dance.
Outside, a haggard god sucks on a cigarette,
sobering, returning to earth
on his naked foot like the Arabian dervish—
longs for their heat like a baby
under mizzling clouds. The moon is nowhere
to be seen, my pale-faced friend;
the polished pearl
of her swinging eye unable to bear
the hinged door crying them into a lock
of skin and breath, the damp meeting of flesh
that undresses itself
in the perfumed hours.
Alone I will think of your floating hands
and the dancing-girls, your ghost possessive,
until even my hip is a monument
raised in the memory
of your dirty hardening stone.