These three poems by John Findura ponders when the hypnagogic state between awake and dreaming no longer offers an explanation for your reality…
by John Findura
WHEN THE GHOSTS VISIT ME When the ghosts visit me they don’t have much to say I hold my head under water and sing No one hears anything anymore A girl skinned of her identity in the Southwest sings under water, too – oh we hold each other down She prays in multiple religions and sings in four languages I hold my head under water in only one
WHEN THE GHOSTS READ NOVELS When the ghosts read novels they take copious amounts of notes – scribbling all over the text I don’t know how I feel about this I like to keep my novels ink-free and perfect I do not need to wake up to find underlines and their haphazard circling of what they consider important phrases, phrases that I consider incidental They write their marginalia in tight block print but in poetry books they use a more flowing script and are more prone to brackets Some things I have learned: they use British spelling on occasion, what is important to them seems to mean little to the living
TONIGHT EVEN THE GHOSTS GO HOME WITH SOMEONE ELSE There is a thin line in a village that asks to be crossed My days revolve around questioning whether I should My nights are often quiet and I wonder if you are good Did you hear the one where I ask if you’ve seen my hands shake? In your apartment I’ll ask again I shouldn’t now but I want to but you won’t In other cars things take place, things I don’t want to imagine I try and tell you but I can’t that I’m abandoning place and time for you, again to take you but you won’t go and look at how this all breaks, an exhausted glass defiant across the floor, its contents seeping, seeping and we don’t even wear masks anymore to make everything look alright I want to wear you like a scent, light and eyes closed burning from in here out towards you One of us woke up alone One of us is waking up
John Findura is the author of the poetry collection Submerged (Five Oaks Press, 2017) and the chapbook Useful Shrapnel (2022). He holds an MFA from The New School, an M.Ed in Professional Counseling, and an Ed.D in Educational Technology. His poetry and criticism appear in numerous journals including Verse; Fourteen Hills; Copper Nickel; Pleiades; Forklift, Ohio; Sixth Finch; Prelude; and Rain Taxi. A guest blogger for The Best American Poetry, he lives in Northern New Jersey with his wife and daughters.