All My Specters in a Box in Terrified Light

Muriel Leung



Leaving or To be left behind–both versions falling out

someone’s ash mouth. Leaving is a car unraveling

at 90 mph. To be left behind is the color red as in

alarm. Stop. Bracket that feeling. A hole the size

of yellow. She swore to me on two cities. Two ghosts

bright beyond the canyons. I love her even without.

Her flesh intervening in the perpetual motion

of my days. Laughter comes out hard and pelts

the dusk. I laugh to dampen the riot like some people

laugh over clowns or accidents. Avoidance or filling

a room with noise to erase an absence. The radio sings

with such clarity. Omit me here. She has left me.

Left as in someone had propelled forward in an act

of leaving the other behind. Someone suggests You’ll live

and that is all I need to poke holes in the current.

What they really mean is You’ve failed. I have grown

too accustomed to static. All my specters

in a box in terrified light. I try and pretty it

but my trying is a version of failure shimmying up

the curbside. What happens now: to keep or relent.

To pool over the silence. I don’t want to be here.

Always carrying these spools of her. Cavernous

and sifting through a blur. The alone too terrible to ignite.