We sat beading on the couch
necklaces which would carry colour
to our vegetarian cosmetic-free skin.
No secret we lived in a morgue from Civil War days
and this south of the bloody Mason-Dixon line
so the patter of running feet that followed the sound
of breaking glass didn't shock, but still our eyes
widened and brightened to light bulbs.
In fact it was the light bulb that intrigued us.
The way it broke so the middle remained
and the surrounding sides had smashed to the ground
all over the ground so we had to put on shoes.
That was Virginia and now you're in Scotland
while I have a family in Australia.
Nearly twenty years later I understand the permanency
of the Sophia Street Ghost.
I see how quickly our feet have shuffled
how loud was the noise as we stomped over the earth
how fast we blinked one scene to the next
how our bodies transcended space so easily
even laden with flesh and burdened by bone
carrying all of that air in our lungs.
We lived with that ghost on a daily basis
expecting the most unexpected reminders
and smiled thrillingly when our own bedrooms
had been its canvas of quiet communication.
I never thought then if it wanted to be in that three storey home
for a hundred years, if it wanted to live somewhere else.
We write to one another about meeting in the middle:
a holiday in Greece
between Scotland and Australia.
Just over the Atlantic lies Fredericksburg, Virginia
and the Sophia Street Ghost.
I click at the keyboard:
perhaps in the end it is death
that will ground us.
Press 'send' to the satellites.