A Haunting

We feed the ghosts with fettuccine and fire extinguishers. Watch as they bend backwards and crawl towards us. Through musty windows the light fails. We set fires to the etiquette books. Don’t brush our teeth for days, the scent of us feral and dreamlike. All night the dresses burn. Mother’s face haloed as she reaches to turn out the lamp. Always this terrible wanting, a woman’s shadow draped across the chair. A thin veil of dust covering everything they tried to make beautiful. We create tents out of sticks and sheets, shine our flashlights through the thick curtain of dark. At midnight, the record playing by itself, all throaty jazz and static. The scent of perfume lifting down the hall.

 

 

 

 

Toni Scales worked as a funeral director’s assistant. Her poems have appeared in Lily, Wicked Alice, Stirring, and blossombones. Her first chapbook, Blue Rebecca, is scheduled to be published by dancing girl press. She lives in Bay City, Texas, and is excited about becoming a grandmother for the first time. You can contact her at toniscalespoet@gmail.com. For additional information, please visit: https://www.toniscales.com.