Ghosts among the Living

Raised by the South to smile and nod

when strangers pass

but in this scene

the twenty-something blonde in business slacks stares past my ear and crosses

to the other side.

Can’t be too safe I guess

or maybe it’s a game I didn’t know that we were playing

and these concrete squares of sidewalk

are just lava she can’t step on.

And I want to tell her that she’s safe…

as if she were in on the joke.

And most days…

I just wish my neighbors knew I lived here.

Too many days I feel their eyes

asking what I’m up to,

why I’m parked here,

who I’m staying with and if they realize just how much I’ve made myself at home

because

I am.

And I’ve shouted my good mornings from my doorstep

but it only reached the screen doors

slamming shut behind them

but I guess that’s how it is to be a ghost among the living

and I don’t know when I died,

only that I was born….

black.

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