A Haunted House

Sometimes, reminders of the past owners of a house will randomly resurface.

On humid days, the hallway smells like cigar smoke. Nicotine weeps from the drywall. Old film negatives from 1977 that have been lodged behind a radiator slide free. A trinket shaped like a glass strawberry rolls out of nowhere.  Sunlight catches a scrawled scripture verse on a door jamb.  CAUTION has been painted on the basement wall, then halfassedly painted over.  Initials are carved in an attic beam in elegant script.

I slide the negatives back into their hiding spot.

What proof of existence will I leave behind?


houses cannot be haunted
at least not by the dead

our energy does not remain
once our bodies expire

not where we seek solace
or where the bitter despair
of nightmares prey

we believe
spirits exist
because we cannot admit
humanity leaves
cold walls
and hollow words
to be passed among

all is forgiven
nothing is owed
nothing is truly owned

a ghost is
feeling a connection
when there isn’t any

a ghost is
in a crowd