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She admits she is haunted, but does so softly,
as if she really believes spirits will overhear her,
spirits that neither she nor I believe in.
I’m haunted, too, but standing before a window,
its glass all that separates us, keeps us safe
from the spirits we could never imagine
swirling upward like protoplasmic spectral smoke
from the chimney of the burned-out brick house,
I say nothing. What exactly is it, then, since we
don’t believe in them, that haunts us? The boy
and the old man who couldn’t rescue him are dead,
the house empty save for critters skittering room
to room, and separated by a window, us
haunted by nothing, the worst haunting of all.



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